Music streaming giant Spotify has signed on as one of the major smartphone apps that will tie directly into the plot of Sony Pictures Animation’s upcoming emoji movie, an individual with knowledge of the arrangement told TheWrap.
On Tuesday evening at Sony’s CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas, SPA President Kristine Belson revealed details about the as-yet untitled film that hinges on the widely shared emoticons.
She noted that the filmmakers will rely on real-world apps to tell its story, like having characters navigate boats on an actual stream to represent music streaming.
According to the studio insider, Spotify will be the music streaming service included in the film. Terms of the deal were not immediately clear, but similar partnerships are typically negotiated by way of paid placement or media buys.
Reps for Spotify and SPA did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.
The concept art shown at Caesars Palace also included the logos for other real digital brands like Facebook.
The emoji project, from writers Eric Siegel and Anthony Leondis, was acquired in a multi-studio bidding war last July, and little detail was given over how the Emojis would be shaped into a narrative.
“Inside your phone, there’s a secret world– and we enter through the text app where we discover Emoji Valley, where the industrious Emoji live and work,” Belson said of the film, which is due in theaters sometime in 2017.
By the end of the first act, the Emojis wind up on the home screen (“the world of the wallpaper”) and find that each individual app contains its own massive world to be discovered. Therein lies the brand opportunity, as the characters visit each world as colored by hallmarks of real-life apps.
No other apps were immediately named in the partnership, though the concept art did include Facebook.
At the beginning of Sony’s presentation, Motion Picture Chairman Tom Rothman underscored the importance of original material to balance the studio’s slate of franchises.
“We have a number of power brands returning relaunching or being reintroduced — and yet at Sony we also believe that it is vital to maintain a commitment to originality,” he said.