Like, dude. This is so gnarly. The MTV-produced video game Rock Band, which emulates the smash hit Guitar Hero by adding bass, drums and vocals to your ability to play rock guitarist, is turning into a music download store. The game sold 3.4 million units through this summer, but the real juice came — get stoked, music chiefs! — from 21 million song downloads in its first year.
It’s an intriguing case study in how traditional media and sales channels continue their fragmentation — so much that small, intelligent game boxes can become store fronts. Musicians are taking note; AC/DC is releasing a special live set of songs through Rock Band this fall.
Fortune reports that Judy McGrath, CEO of MTV Networks, was skeptical the first time she saw the plastic guitars of Guitar Hero. But now, with her own hit, we bet she has the dial turned all the way up to 11.