Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, January 20, 2021

Illuminating results from the world of pixels and air-guitars: The latest versions of “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” are proving to be effective cross-sell channels for digital music, with the two games selling a combined 7.5 million tracks in only two months via Web-connected gaming consoles:

By comparison, it took wireless operator Sprint four months to sell 1 million songs on its over-the-air full-song download service. While new digital music services competing with iTunes and free peer-to-peer services have struggled to convince music fans to pay $1 for a single, downloadable tracks for games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero are flying off the digital shelves.

“With such a low installation base, we didn’t think that there’d be 2 million songs sold in eight weeks [for “Rock Band” alone],” MTVN Music Group/Logo/Films division President Van Toffler said. “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.”

I think that’s the key way to position it: If you’re already paid full-price for the main product, then the add-ons seem like peanuts. And more importantly, they enhance the gaming experience for these two titles, and are the only option for expanding the gameplay.

That’s also where the limited impact shows through. As I understand it, these songs are for use only while playing “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band”, or at most, while using an Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 as a media player. You can’t burn those songs onto a CD or load them into your iPod. Sales are sales, but this falls well short of representing a complete way of selling music.

That said, it does provide a template for packaging music in a way that makes purchases more palatable. In a way, digital music services push songs in a sort of vacuum — what can you really do with them that you can’t do with an mp3 found via P2P? But present the purchase at a point of sale for a related product/service, where it’s perceived as an added benefit, and there are possibilities.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/20/2008 08:23:46 PM
Category: Business, Pop Culture, Videogames
| Permalink | Trackback |

1 Feedback »

    Electronic Arts is revamping its “Battlefield” franchise as part of an attempt to shift its business model to free base-games that pay for themselves via Internet-based subscription and micropayments. (That’s a trend that’s work…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 01/21/2008 @ 02:31:20 PM

RSS feed for feedback on this post.

Leave a comment

PLEASE NOTE: Various types of comment moderation may be triggered once you hit the "Say It!" button below. Common causes for this are the inclusion of several hyperlinks and/or spam words in the comment field. Please do not hit the "Say It!" button more than once. If you feel your comment is being blocked without cause, feel free to email me about it.