Will Video Games Save the Music Industry?

rock_bandIt’s way too early to tell if games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero will help the music industry rebound, but one thing’s for sure, it’s off to a blazing start.I won’t lie. I’ve been blogging a whole lot less since I bought Guitar Hero for the Wii. It’s not helping pay the bills, but it feels sweet as hell when I shred with Slash and leave him gasping for air. (OK, so I’m still only in EASY mode.)

I don’t need to waste your time singing the praises of these unbelievable games, but I will say, they’ve come along with a benefit I’ve never anticipated. I’m learning to appreciate songs I never knew and have rediscovered my love for several songs from the past.

While I’m hardly running to buy the CDs, music-sales transactions are likely to follow for many gamers. And downloadable-music retailers will be the big winners.

In the eight weeks since Rock Band was released, MTV says that more than 2.5 million songs have been downloaded at about $2 a pop.

Hello, new revenue stream.

(A quick aside. It’s amazing that home prices continue to slide, and talk about a potential recession is inescapable, yet $170 video games are flying off of shelves.)

Single-song downloads for these video games have led to song three-packs and will eventually lead to full albums.

As a Guitar Hero convert who is eagerly awaiting Rock Band to drop for the Wii, I am beyond convinced that these games will spark a turnaround for the music industry. There are millions of 14-year-old gamers who are about to discover some of the best songs ever written. And that alone is a beautiful thing.