EMI flog music through social games
What can the music industry do to start making money again? It's obvious! Offer something that is worth more than an illegal download, right? Time to start thinking more creatively and give consumers something worthwhile... right?
Well, EMI have signed up with a games publisher called MXP4 (catchy name) who create social games on Facebook. You'll be required to use the social network's Facebook Credits currency to... well... it doesn't matter because you won't be playing along with this as its a stupid, stupid idea.
The idea is to make tracks (from artists including Lily Allen, Gorillaz, the Jackson 5 and David Guetta according to The Guardian) available within MXP4's Bopler Games collection on Facebook. You play some games which will have a free 60-second clip of a songs, but you'll have to cough-up virtual money for access to the full songs. Or just continue to illegally download them or listen to them on YouTube or whatever.
"Games are a high-growth digital business, so we are always on the lookout for ways to license our music or have our artists involved in that area," says Cosmo Lush, EMI's vice president of digital business development. "We are talking to lots of different potential partners across the games business, but MXP4 were very forward-looking and keen to move quickly to get some of our music licensed and get going."
"This is the first time a music label and publisher have signed such a deal using the freemium business model," says Albin Serviant, MXP4's chief executive. "We expect more signatures from other publishers and labels by the end of August for the commercial launch of Bopler Games."
Of course, this is an extension of an idea that Lady GaGa had when she released her 'Born This Way' album, which saw the singer promoting tracks in Zynga's hugely grating FarmVille game. Did anyone actually bother finding the tracks via GaGaVille? Not many as big artists tend to flood the radio stations and TV shows, just like they ever did.
This is a desperate lunge for some income for EMI who have been pissing money since control of the group got flung from the dastardly Terra Firma to bank Citigroup.
It's clear that record companies need to monetise their wares online, but it seems stupid to promote music in an industry that doesn't make as much money as the recording industry is currently losing.