Can Guitar Hero Save The Day For Rock Product?
November 26, 2007 at 11:56 AM (PT)
It looks like the labels may have found a potent new promotional vehicle to help spur sales of their rock-based product: the Guitar Hero video game franchise. On the heels of the third and latest incarnation of the game, which sold well over $100 million worth of product in just its first week at retail, Tech website ARSTECHNICA.COM, has discovered that multiple tracks in the game have enjoyed sizable sales increases.
After crunching SOUNDSCAN data from the week before and the weeks during and following the game's release, ARSTECHNICA discovered the following:
The report tracked five different tracks and all showed spiked sales during the game's debut week at retail -- and sales stayed higher for several weeks thereafter.
* THE STROKES' "Reptilia" sold 127% more digital copies than it had the week before. The following week saw another 96% sales increase.
* SLIPKNOT's track "Before I Forget" enjoyed a 75% increase on the week of the game's release, and another 140% the week after.
The report tracked five different tracks and all showed spiked sales during the game's debut week at retail -- and sales stayed higher for several weeks thereafter. They need not be tracks from recognizable mainstream bands, either. THE SLEEPING, on indie VICTORY RECORDS, received little, if any radio airplay when the track was released many months before the game's release. Its sales has skyrocketed as well.
One sources was quoted as saying, "It doesn't appear to matter if you're in the main game or are a bonus song; huge gains are seen everywhere. As long as your song ships with the game and you offer the track to be downloaded digitally, you see an increase."
Its impact on CD sales is not as consistent. Thanks to a track from WEEZER's 1994 album, its CD sales increased 47% Yet QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE's CD didn't enjoy such a bump from having one of its tracks in the game.
Nevertheless, industry observers will be watching sales of its Guitar Hero tracks over the holidays closely, as well as those on the similarly-formatted vide game Rock Band. Up to now, game developer ACTIVISION has had to pay a pretty penny to get product from labels. If these sales increases continue, that won't be a much of a problem anymore.
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