This week, fans of the rock band Motley Crue are rushing to hear the group's new single, "Saints of Los Angeles." But they won't find it on iTunes. The single is first available as a 99 cent download in the videogame Rock Band. It debuted yesterday for the Xbox 360 version, and will come out tomorrow for the Playstation 3. The Crue is not alone. On April 24, the band Def Leppard will be releasing their new single, "Nine Lives," via the game Guitar Hero III.
Remember when this sort of fanfare was reserved for MTV? Those days are gone. Now the YouTube generation gets the goods online or in-game, and franchises like Guitar Hero and Rock Band are competing venues. My bet is on Rock Band winning out in the end - it has all the power of Guitar Hero, and then some. The developers at Harmonix told me once that see themselves more as a music company than a game company, and this music delivery strategy is proof.