The 360-degree version of Gorillaz’ music video for new track Saturnz Barz received over 3 million views in the first 48 hours, making it the single biggest 48 hour debut for a 360 music video in the (young) history of 360 videos on YouTube. The track is from the band’s highly-anticipated fifth album, Humanz, due for release on April 28th.
Returning with their first full album since 2011’s The Fall, British virtual band Gorillaz continues to innovate in its production techniques. In the band’s earlier ‘phases’, they often delivered high-tech live performances, famously pulling the ‘hologram’ trick with Madonna at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Their last music video, DoYaThing, was commissioned by Converse in 2012, and employed a mix of 2D and CGI characters combined with live action.
The new music video ‘Saturnz Barz (Spirit House)’ was released in 360 and conventional format on March 23rd. The 360 version is one of the most impressive examples of a 360 music video, employing novel animation techniques and camera positions, and satisfying the viewer with unique and spectacular perspectives at every turn. If you want to watch it yourself in a VR headset, see our instructions here.
According to the YouTube for Artists blog, Saturnz Barz received more than 2x the views of the previous 48hr record, held by Russian band УСПЕШНАЯ ГРУППА. This top five list is missing some major artists with 360 music videos, most notably Muse’s Revolt and Björk’s Stonemilker, but these debuted on dedicated VR apps rather than YouTube. The ‘Saturnz Barz’ 360 video now has more than 6 million views.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of Gorillaz’ ‘Saturnz Barz’ collaboration with the team at YouTube/Google Spotlight Stories,” said Niamh Byrne of Eleven Management. “It’s truly historic to see technology reach the point where it can allow us all to realize the innovative vision that Damon and Jamie have had going back to the day they conceived Gorillaz—and it’s amazing to see that millions of Gorillaz fans are actually entering that world like never before. We are so grateful to the team at YouTube/Google Spotlight Stories for making that possible.”