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Survey: Video Games Influence Music Buys

4 Feb, 2003 By: Hive News

Video games could give the packaged music industry a much-needed shot in the arm, an online marketing firm predicted today.

Forty percent of 1,000 hard-core video gamers surveyed said that after hearing a song they like in a video game have they then bought the CD, according to online buzz marketer, ElectricArtists.

New artists including OK GO, Andrew W.K., Good Charlotte, Nappy Roots, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Trust Company have gained awareness and popularity from being featured in video games, the survey found.

"More and more, the major record labels are looking towards video games to help break new artists that might not have enough radio airplay or exposure on MTV to generate respectable sales," said Marc Schiller, CEO of ElectricArtists. "While the primary reason to buy the product remains fun and games, the music that adds pace and rhythm to them is having an impact on CD awareness and sales as well. The number of conversions from listener/players to music buyers is significant."

Among the other findings in the survey, 74 percent or respondents agreed that soundtracks help sell video games; 43 percent of respondents said they downloaded a video game soundtrack from a file sharing network such as Napster or KaZaA; 40 percent of those responding learned of a new song or band from a game and then 27 percent of them went out and bought their CD; and 92 percent of respondents remember the music well after they've stopped playing the game.

In addition, the respondents signaled out the Final Fantasy series as having the best soundtracks and praised Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for the integration of recognizable songs from the past with gameplay. Other games the respondents signaled out for praise included Castlevania, Shenmue, Tony Hawk and the Metal Gear Solid series.

"The survey results, gathered by ElectricArtists reinforce the power that the video game industry has on the entertainment world," said Dale Strang, SVP for Ziff Davis Media's Game Group, "As a group, gamers are extremely active and influential music consumers, keenly aware of the effects games and music have on each other."

The online survey's more than 1,000 respondents were mostly males (95 percent) between the ages of 13 and 32 years old and live in countries with high game and Internet household penetration including the United States, Australia, Denmark, the UK and Canada.

"We also discovered that poorly chosen music can ruin a video game, so aside from the opportunity to spread the word and reap sales benefits from well coordinated games-to-music, this pairing must be done carefully and well," Schiller said, suggesting the music industry should listen to gamers to seek opportunities for various acts.

"Gamers know best what works,” Schiller said. “When we asked gamers to tell us what music would be best for the next in line of a series of games, the gamers had a lot to say."

ElectricArtists is working on new games including Tenchu 3, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, Everquest: The Planes of Power and MechAssault.

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