Sell your own music via MTV's Rock Band

Rock Band network to offer artists a new revenue stream later in 2009
Rock Band network to offer artists a new revenue stream later in 2009

Following last week's Develop conference in Brighton, in which the future of music gaming was one of the week's hot topics, MTV has unveiled its own plans for the future of this hugely popular gaming genre.

The company's Rock Band network is set to allow artists to sell their own music directly to gamers to play in the game.

Essentially, MTV wants its Rock Band Network to work as a promotional tool that can be used by any artist, whether they are signed to a deal with a traditional record company or not.

"Artists and labels will be able to submit their tracks for programming to a Harmonix-trained freelance developer," reports

"The song will then be released to Microsoft's Creator's Club to be reviewed by its online industry community before being made available as downloadable content."

Making sweet music

Musicians can decide what they want to charge for their tune, from 50 cents to $3 and they will receive 30 per cent of the sales generated. The service will initially launch on the Xbox 360 and be introduced to PlayStation 3 and Wii versions of Rock Band at a later

"We've figured out how to make it so anybody who owns and controls masters and publishing can put music into [Rock Band] at their own pace," explained MTV Games senior VP of electronic games and music Paul DeGooyer.

"We're talking about a set of serious professional tools to allow people on the front line of writing and recording songs to completely control their destiny with respect to interactive products and then giving them direct access to the download store."

The new MTV service is currently in closed beta, with plans to launch an open beta in August in the US and open a fully operational service later in the year.

"Recorded music on its own no longer leads the charge for artists," added DeGooyer. "It's now this aggregated value proposition of recorded music, touring, merch, branding, web presence and now videogames

"I can envision a song coming into the Rock Band Network first, getting traction, picking up customers through online play and then being picked up by MTV's programming and showing up there. We've shown we can sell millions of songs in the Rock Band store. So it really does tie into a larger picture."


Adam Hartley