Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Marketing #2

Yesterday, in a post about The Beatles: Rock Band marketing, I neglected to mention the comprehensive nature of the marketing effort. In addition to high-profile commercials (which were wonderfully done), the print media coverage was extensive. The game was everywhere, and even people I know who don't play games were talking about it.

Here's one more, and I think it's particularly important for the future of the game. For the week leading up to release, I heard The Beatles everywhere. I heard their music on almost every radio station, and I also heard them in every store where I shopped. It was marketing saturation, and it was brilliantly done.

Remember back in March when Warner Music Group chairman Edgar Bronfman threw a hissy fit about the royalty rates being paid for music included in Rock Band? Incredibly, WMG stopped signing new deals with MTV because they wanted a higher royalty rate, and MTV (basically) raised the middle finger of their corporate hand in response.

It's stunning to me that Bronfman refuses to acknowledge the invigorating effect that being in Rock Band can have on sales of old material. Music that people haven't listened to in 15 or 20 years suddenly starts selling again because it was a DLC in a music game. Does he think that's a coincidence?

When sales figures come in for the new box sets, as well as the album DLC, even if Bronfman continues to live on Bitterman Island, no one will be tempted to join him.

In an odd little note, the dispute didn't stop Warner Brothers from partnering with MTV and Harmonix on Lego Rock Band, which is coming out later this fall.

Like I said yesterday, I'm very interested in the sales numbers at the end of the holiday season. TB:RB is so cleverly and respectfully done that I expect it to sell extremely well.

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