For every example of the music business losing money on the digital revolution, there are examples of ways they profit – revenue streams that didn’t even exist a few years ago like phone apps and games.
For example – as of now – any troubadour, with a few bucks and a well-told tale can submit tracks to the Rock Band Network Music Store for consideration to be on Rock Band – right along all their heroes. Wait, that’s another game. http://Creators.RockBand.com
They’ll need the following:
- An Xbox.
- $99.00 a year to subscribe to the service.
- Windows 7 operating system to upload.
- And Reaper software to author the track – unless they pay someone to do it for them.
- It’s peer reviewed.
- They set their own price.
- They get 30% royalties.
And here’s where to submit songs in case I’m talking about you. http://creators.rockband.com/docs/Website
This is not a philanthropic endeavor. Harmonix, the developer of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band plan to profit from the long tail of smaller bands out there. And the money you make is comparable to what they get off of iTunes downloads – which doesn’t add up to much unless you’re doing big volume.
But is it a smart business decision for your band? Well there’s a lot of ways to look at that. First of all the iPod didn’t really take off until the iTunes Store showed up. And as of now, the Rock Band Network Music Store is still in development. Second, you’d better have a strategy to drive downloads – right? Twitter. Facebook. At your shows.
But consider this. The games will not only give fans another way to experience your music, but it’s an immersive advertisement for your show.
It used to be that bands would tour to promote album sales. Now concert sales have a bigger impact on your bottom line. Sure it all depends on whether you’re an established act, the flavor of the month or someone trying to break through. But if you’re an indie band you literally give away songs as free downloads to promote yourself. Models change. Driving people to your game might be a smart way to promote your tour.
I did a meeting a few months ago about directing a marketing video for Slash. Remember Slash? From Guns and Roses? Kids know him. But they know him more from Guitar Hero than GnR or Velet Revolver. Last reports his new album drops April 6th and features a sick line up of collaborators – young and old. Sorry, I’m on a tangent. BLABBERMOUTH.NET – SLAS#6AE1B55
My point is this. How much would pay to be on someone’s Xbox, Playstation or Wii? Think of it as marketing expense rather than a return of investment on your $100.00 a year + authoring.
And I say, my favorite songs are my favorite songs. Some are mega-giant-uber- acts, many others are so obscure that their names stump music snobs. Let’s rock out to all of ‘em.