Further Proof: Videogames As The New Rock Radio
January 24, 2008 at 3:47 PM (PT)
This year's holiday music-related holiday sales seems to have confirmed what has been established earlier: that video games ---specifically GUITAR HERO and ROCK BAND -- are, promotionally, becoming a de facto radio in terms of generating sales. PCWORLD reports that those who buy one or both of those video games invariably start buying expansion songs (at $2 a pop), then flood online music store to purchase the tracks outright.
The story cites NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN data where individual METALLICA songs saw an online sales spike between 31-48%, a month after they were featured in ROCK BAND. It may not be a coincidence that at the same time DRAGONFORCE’s "Through the Fire and Flames" is the ending song and bonus track to GUITAR HERO III, sales of the band's album "INHUMAN RAMPAGE" increased 126% week-on-week following the game’s release.
We live in a rough time around music where our audience struggles to pay $20 for a CD but don't hesitate to pay $50 for a game ... The notion to pay 99 cents or $1.99 to have a song and repeatedly play with it apparently isn't a big hurdle
In-game downloads sell even more music. Last week, MTV announced that over 2.5 million songs had been downloaded in ROCK BAND, while ACTIVISION accounted for more than 5 million GUITAR HERO 3 downloads since downloading began last NOVEMBER. By comparison, reports REUTERS, it took SPRINT four months to sell just 1 million songs on its over-the-air full-song download service.
"We live in a rough time around music where our audience struggles to pay $20 for a CD but don't hesitate to pay $50 for a game," said MTV Music Pres. VAN TOFFLER. "The notion to pay 99 cents or $1.99 to have a song and repeatedly play with it apparently isn't a big hurdle."
To give a proper perspective on the growing influence of these games, the GUITAR HERO franchise has already done $1 billion of business in NORTH AMERICA since first hitting retail 26 months ago.
REUTERS also reports that GUITAR HERO and ROCK BAND may not be the only videogame franchises to sell downloaded music in the future. Music is already an integral part of the MADDEN football series, the TONY HAWK skateboarding franchise and even GRAND THEFT AUTO; they all could be offering download sales in the future.