Noah Cyrus’s platinum single “July” just got a new music video nearly a year after the song’s release — and it was shot completely through the video game Dreams, a Sony PlayStation exclusive.
Cyrus’s video-game experience is the latest in Sony’s “A Sony Collaboration Series,” which pointedly highlights Sony’s cross-company strength in music, gaming, and electronics. The concept of a game-based music video is not new: A music video for Travis Scott and Kid Cudi’s April hit, “The Scotts,” came from Scott’s popular “Astronomical” stream on Fortnite, for example, and the video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers 2000 hit single, “Californication,” heavily featured animated shots reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto.
But Cyrus’ new video — whose original live video shoot had to be put on hold due to COVID-19, sending the team searching for new options — is notable for its strategic Sony marketing. For years, Sony has touted its “One Sony” initiative, which offers artists on Sony’s music labels a pipeline into Sony’s film and gaming divisions. Cyrus, who is signed to Sony’s labels RECORDS and Columbia Records, said in a statement that the experience of designing a game-based video has been “inspiring” and that “anything that pushes the boundaries of creativity and technology while exploring new ways for people to connect to music is exciting to me.”
“We are excited to introduce a special collaboration between SME artist Noah Cyrus, PlayStation, and Dreams,” Midori Tomita, VP in charge of brand communication for Sony Coprorations, said in a statement. “This is an amazing and unique example of Sony’s purpose statement: to ‘Fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology.'”
During the pandemic, animated videos have surged — as has the prominence of video games in the music business’ marketing and promotional plans, since live music and traditional in-person channels have been stifled. Scott’s Fortnite event drew in millions of viewers and helped slingshot “The Scotts” to a Number One debut, and companies like Wave, which has gotten financial backing from the likes of Scooter Braun and Alex Rodriguez, are putting on similar virtual-reality shows.
Sony Music itself may be going further into video-game development: It posted multiple job listings for high-level video-game developers in recent weeks, and parent company Sony Corp. bought a minority stake in Fortnite‘s developer, Epic Games, in July.