Electronic Arts has a new page on its site specifically designed for buying music that has been featured in its games. The music is being sold through iTunes but is more easily found on EA’s site (called EA Trax), which just links you to iTunes when you’re ready to make a purchase. The EA site also offers much of the same music available as ringtones for your cellphone. The buzz surrounding this move is that video games are playing a much larger role in promoting new music, as the game industry is booming while the music industry is stalling.
According to the executive in charge of music and marketing at EA, Steve Schnur, 55% of people who played Need for Speed said they found new songs though the game with half making purchases or downloads as a result. But Schnur admits that it has been hard for music gamers to find these songs until now. He says, “I’ve continually found there’s a sense of frustration in gamers not being able to discover and find the music.”
EA often releases songs (in game) by major artists well before the same songs are available on CD. And certain songs now ready for download via iTunes haven’t previously been available outside of EA’s games, including Need for Speed Underground’s remix of the Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” by Snoop Dogg.
Count me as one of the 55%; I actually was interested in that Snoop Dogg remix a while back and was annoyed that it didn’t seem to exist outside of the game. This move by EA should have happened a long time ago and will only help the music industry. There are millions of gamers out there, and they’re probably not listening to the radio to find new music they’re interested in buying.