Hit video game, Rock Band
, is proving to be a lucrative new revenue stream for the music industry
. The game comes with 58 playable songs, but through the XBOX Live Marketplace, gamers can download new songs for around $2 per track. In the eight weeks since the game has been on sale, 2.5 million songs have been downloaded. Indeed, this is a welcome new revenue stream for the music industry, and yet another example of how embracing technology can open up new markets. In the original version of the similar game Guitar Hero
, most of the tracks were actually done by a cover band, since the original bands made it prohibitively expensive to use the "real" version (and in some cases, the covered version was considered too close
to the original). Now, more bands are finally realizing the benefit of being included in the game, and are now lining up to get their tracks included. That said, only about three new tracks are released each week. So, what is the hold up? If it's a technological issue, it's one thing, but really, there's no good reason to be artificially limiting the number of tracks available to Rock Band
players. Having more available tracks increases the fun of the game for all, and for the bands, it's a fantastic promotional opportunity.