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.” 

Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.

Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Premium.
  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look. Exclusive early access to stories.

    Insider Conversations. Listen in as our editors talk to innovators from around the world.

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.