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A View from Brad King

Video Games Pump Up Music Sales

With game companies increasingly using original music in scores, musicians are finding entirely new – and untapped – audiences.

  • January 27, 2006

I’ve had the pleasure of sitting on a few panels with video-game makers over the past few years, and at every conference I go to, I make it a point to discuss the future of music in games. With radio conglomerates slowly choking off any real independent music, satellite radio still in its (very cool) infancy, and online music relegated by and large to major acts – it seemed to me that major labels were missing out an opportunity to promote and sell music through games.

Of course, the big holdup was that game consoles – particularly the Xbox and Playstation 2 – were simply dipping their toes into the online market, although Microsoft was far more aggressive in its early push. The console makers, rightfully so, were more interesting in developing their online game communities, rather than trying to expand into the music market.

With the Xbox 360 now out – and the PS3 coming soon – expect to see more synergy between game and music companies, according to this AP article.

The impact of games on music sales will increase sharply if – some say when – consoles let players buy tracks or albums directly online.

“We’ll have massive uptake when we have one-click purchasing from games, and from TV shows,” said John Booth, business development associate at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, at the Midem music business gathering in Cannes this week. “And that’s coming.” 

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