The video game as sales channel

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.

1 thought on “The video game as sales channel

  1. Rock Band is an amazing phenomena. When me (49yo dad) and 10 yo daughter can jam out to The Clash’s _Should I Stay…_ or Nirvana’s _In Bloom_ without either of us feeling idiotic you are on to something.

    Then you download 10 of those songs and 20 Guitar Hero 3 picks from iTunes.

    I just hope that kids are inspired to pick up a real instrument at some point.

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