Inside Radio's Mike Kinosian was kind enough to interview me recently about the impact of video games on music sales and exposure. We have also devoted a number of blogs to this topic, particularly as it relates to how radio can/should/needs to be involved in this process. There's more to the Rock lifestyle than listening to CDs or mp3s, and gaming continues to become a bigger player.
Case in point: Viacom is putting even more emphasis on Rock Band, a sector that is showing real growth for the mega-media company. Like Guitar Hero, Rock Band allows players to choose guitar, drums, or vocals. The game will now be integral in an upcoming Rock Band Live tour featuring Panic! At The Disco, Dashboard Confessional, Plain White T's, and The Cab - all acts that are featured in the game.
And the final "performer" is the gamer. Fans will compete with each other for the chance to actually play the game on the main stage in between acts. Once again, it's another logical integration of gaming, music, live performance, and the consumer. These are the types of promotions that radio needs to be a part of, especially as it relates to the process of finding local contestants.
But in the bigger picture, it's yet another indicator of how powerful video games have become in the Rock lifestyle, and how stations need to think beyond pure music consumption, and more about how lifestyle and this type of "Reality TV" component can intermesh.