Did The Record Labels Kill The Golden Goose In Music Video Games?

from the of-course-they-did... dept

For the last decade or so, every year the major record labels seem to bet on some single "magic bullet" to fix all that ails them. They go through phases. There was their own crappy DRM'd and locked-down music stores. There were ringtones. And... there were music video games like Guitar Hero and Rockband. And, of course, as soon as those games actually started helping the recording industry, the industry decided to suck them dry. Edgar Bronfman kicked it off by declaring angrily that those games had to pay much more to license the music -- even though the music in those games tended to lead to much greater sales of albums for those artists.

And now it looks like the labels may have succeeded in bleeding those types of games dry. With Activision announcing that it was dumping Guitar Hero, one of the major reasons given is the high cost of licensing music. Yup, the labels priced things so high that they made it impractical to actually offer any more. Yet another case of the labels overvaluing their own content. Now, it's also true that these games haven't evolved that much, and people haven't seen the point of buying new versions, but part of that lack of evolving is because so much of the budget had to go towards overpaying for music, rather than innovating.

Filed Under: guitar hero, music, video games
Companies: activision


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  1. icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), 11 Feb 2011 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: S.O.P.

    Actually, if I understand the story, she made the entire movie and THEN approached the rights holders.

    This is definitely not the way to do it because the lawyers know they have you. But if you approach rights holders first and say you don't have any money to pay them upfront but could perhaps work out a deal where they get something if you make something, often they will agree. I've dealt with filmmakers that way.

    And MTV, for example, has a standard contract where they ask for permission to use your music but they don't offer to pay anything. Many rights holders agree because they want the exposure.

    So get permission first if you are making a movie.

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