Gaming

EA – It’s in the Music

Some unlikely candidates have been launching record labels lately.

Last week, online social networking player MySpace.com debuted its new record label. Now video game maker Electronic Arts is planning to launch a recording label of its own.

EA today announced it is teaming up with Nettwerk Music Group to launch EA Recordings, a digital music distribution label that will bring EA’s catalog of musical compositions and remixes to digital service providers.

EA said the music roll-out kicked off today and will be regularly updated with new releases and back-catalog favorites.

Steve Schnur, worldwide executive of Music and Music Marketing at EA, said audiences today are media masters — they listen, play, download, watch and basically devour their entertainment in revolutionary new ways. They demand that the technology keep pace.

“This deal is a triumphant new commitment to making classic EA music and themes available to millions worldwide,” Schnur said. “We are proud to be on the cutting-edge of this trend with Nettwerk — an innovative and proven partner that is a world leader in digital music distribution.”

3,000 Minutes of Blockbuster Music

An industry first, this initiative will deliver music clips from blockbuster EA games as ringtones, mastertones or in MP3 format to online download destinations including Apple iTunes, MSN, Yahoo Music, AOL Music, Rhapsody and others.

Over the past twenty years, EA has amassed over 3,000 minutes of wholly-owned musical compositions which have been featured in blockbuster game franchises such as Medal of Honor and The Sims, as well as sports games such as NBA LIVE basketball and NASCAR racing.

Orchestral works have been produced by such award-winning composers as Sean Callery, Michael Giacchino, Chris Lennertz, Trevor Jones and Mark Mothersbaugh. Game beats have been produced by such artists as Da Riffs and Just Blaze while original songs and remixes have been custom-cut by Paul Oakenfold and others.

Playing the Trends

Inside Digital Media Senior Analyst Phil Leigh told TechNewsWorld that the EA partnership with Nettwerk makes sense and is indicative of a trend in the recording industry that is seeing new entrants launch labels targeting specific audiences.

While MySpace.com has a captive audience of young adults that share a common interest in music, EA has an audience of young adults who share a common interest in video games.

“It’s not hard for EA to make money with this,” Leigh said. “There is no manufacturing cost. All they have to do is make the digital files available on iTunes, then the cash register rings itself. I expect to see more of this in the recording industry.”

EA Music at the Next Level

EA said the Nettwerk partnership complements Next Level Music, EA’s joint venture with Cherry Lane Music Publishing. That project focuses on signing artists and licensing EA music to TV, movies and commercials, while the agreement with Nettwerk is focused on direct-to-consumer online music sales.

“We’ve entered a new age where video games are arguably more powerful than the radio when it comes to exposing audiences to music,” said Terry McBride, CEO, Nettwerk Music Group. “We look forward to delivering EA’s bold themes and soundtracks to both gaming fans and music lovers alike.”

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