Video Game Spending To Overtake Music As Soon As This Year

Spending on video game products is poised to surpass the music industry as soon as this year, according to Ars Technica.

PricewaterhouseCooperss released the data in its annual “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook” report covering 2007 through 2011, which outlines expected growth in the entertainment, film, music, and video game industries, among others.

The information not only reflects the gaming industry’s strong trajectory but also serves as a painful reminder that the music industry continues to suffer.

Interesting statistic, but how can it be blamed on piracy? Anyone? Anyone? We want to blame piracy, damn it. Submit your best music-industry-rationalization in the comments. —MEGHANN MARCO

Report: Video game spending to surpass music spending this year [Ars Technica]
(Photo: cryptolife)


Edit Your Comment

  1. adamondi says:

    Could it be that people are far more entertained by the creativeness displayed by many game developers than they are by the incessant pop and rap crap that gets pumped out by the record companies?

    No, wait. You must be right. It has to be piracy, because only music and movies get pirated. No one ever pirates video or computer games.

  2. harleymcc says:

    Let’s see….

    We’ve gone from The Doors and The Beatles to Nsync and Brittney.

    Games have gone from Pong to Halo 3.

    Wonder why one is going up and one is going down?

  3. LowerHouseMember says:

    Well, it is a lot easier to pirate music than games.

  4. pestie says:

    I don’t think piracy is the whole story, nor is it even the most important piece, but it definitely has something to do with it.

    Most games these days require you to pay a recurring charge for some sort of online service (MMORPG’s, Xbox Live, etc.) Even if you can pirate a game, chances are you can only play it in single-player mode (if you can play it at all), and most people don’t want that.

    On the other hand, I can download a band’s entire discography in one big file, via P2P, for nothing. Meanwhile, the lumbering dinosaur that is the music industry clings to their outdated business models like a toddler to his security blanket.

  5. etinterrapax says:

    Well, I won’t bother arguing that the music is crap, because then ten people will tell me about how I’m not trying hard enough. So instead I’ll go with this: the system to deliver non-crap music to people who will gladly pay to hear it is irreparably broken and rendered obsolete by new technology and RIAA asshattery, and until music returns to widespread cultural relevance, people will spend their money elsewhere. If that leads to less crap music polluting the airwaves, we’ll get by.

    I’ll offer this, though: the phenomenon of most musicians making and expecting enormous amounts of money, fame, and sales is a relatively recent one. Fifty years, at best. I speculate that this expectation is what’s really crippling the industry–the involvement of promoters, managers, producers, and graspy family members all looking for the piece of what we are noticing is a small and shrinking pie. If they put as much effort into developing talent as they do into making mediocrities print money for them, we’d all benefit.

  6. ne0shell says:

    We humans just love to cuddle up to our abusers don’t we?
    I no longer purchase music or movies and won’t until the MPAA and RIAA drop the SS tactics. I can live without most music these days and have no plans to be caught up in one of their “piracy” crackdowns.
    A family 30 minutes from here in the country opened a small drive in so if and when we feel like seeing a movie we go there. It’s cheaper than movie in a box and being able to smoke, bring our own snacks and even bring small kids all add incredible value to the already cool experience.
    Stop feeding the “piracy” trolls and let them know you won’t be donating any more $ to their legal depts. They all screw artists over anyway and most of the decent ones will be going to same route as NIN and releasing music direct to consumers without DRM in the near future….

  7. markedward says:

    If you buy an album, you get music. That’s it.

    If you buy a video game, you get the music for your ears, the visuals for your eyes, and the gameplay for your mind (whether to rot it or stimulate it is your choice), and in the case of the Wii, the gameplay can also give you a light workout. Video games may be twice the cost of the average CD, but they offer a heck of a lot more interaction.

  8. OwenCatherwood says:

    @markedward: “If you buy a video game, you get the music for your ears….Video games may be twice the cost of the average CD, but they offer a heck of a lot more interaction.”

    And in some cases, such as Grand Theft Auto, you get quite a bit of entertainment for more than what the equivalent cost of CDs would be.

  9. msquared says:

    Additionally, when it comes to piracy, it’s worth noting that the video game consumer base (primarily teenagers and young adult males) is, on the whole, much more adept with computers and the internet than the consumer base of music (which is far more widespread among demographics). So while music is easier to pirate, that does offset it a little; people who want to pirate video games are less likely to be offset by the difficulty of that task.

  10. lestat730 says:

    My thoughts on why this might be,

    It is far easier to pirate music then video games (except with PC games.) With music people just use their P2P method of choice and download whatever they want. With console games (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, etc..) you can’t play downloaded games unless you buy a special chip and attach it directly to the motherboard (thus completely killing the warranty while simultaneously taking a chance that you might destroy the expensive console in the process.) Basically this fact alone means that many music pirates are willing to go to their local game store and purchase their console video games. Also, while PC games could definitely be downloaded and played for free, the often enormous file size will deter many people since the average PC game could be anywhere between 4-9gb in size (against the 50-90mb an entire album of mp3s would be.) Because of all this, I think it’s easy to see why video games are outselling music. While video games are getting more popular every year, you really can’t argue that there are more video game fans then there are music fans. Just my 2 cents (and no I am not a pirate)

  11. SaraAB87 says:

    This does not surprise me at all, video games are just more entertaining than music because they offer an interactive experience rather than a passive experience. People still spend on movies though, particularly the DVD releases. If there is a DVD that I really want I would buy it instead of forking over the 9-10$ just to see 30 min of ads in the theater, especially considering how easy it is to acquire used DVD’s nowadays.

    Video games can also be purchased cheaply as long as you do not have to have the latest games the day they come out, there are huge amounts of used video game sales, game trading sites, etc. out there to make your video game shopping more pleasant and affordable. Gaming on a budget is definitly possible these days. No I am not a pirate either. The only time I want music is when I am in a car, and the radio suffices for that.

    As the generations of people from the late 70’s and 80’s get older they pass video games onto their children, many of these people still play video games in some form, and naturally children are magnets for video games nowadays. As these generations of people grow up and have more kids, it breeds more fans of video games than before simply because video games have now been around for much longer and are an accepted form of entertainment for younger parents and kids of younger parents. This is why video games are more popular than ever and they will only increase in popularity.

  12. eli_b says:

    Music is taking a nosedive because of the horrible horrible business practices of the music industry. Piracy by PTP doesn’t account for most of the losses either, people copying cd’s for each other does. And yes, you can get all the video games and movies at the same places you can torrent music.

  13. synergy says:

    I’m old school. I haven’t really played video games in my home since, oh, 1993 or something.

  14. Thrust says:

    Surprised nobody has touched on the fact that the MUSIC in video games is now better than the crap these “great artists” release. Halo2 Soundtrack for the Win.

    Oh, and I’ll pay $80 for a game I can play over and over with different endings, hidden content, and spectacular graphics and sound. I WON’T pay $30 for a CD with one or two good songs, twelve tracks of Alanis Morrisette in heat (or something equally screachy), and the possibility that the manufacuter has used a CD protection feature that means my legally purchased music WON’T work where a free pirated MP3 WILL.

    Seriously. Combine copy protection and RIAA bullshit and you might as well be buying blank CDs.

  15. freakinalex says:

    There’s also the fact that it’s pretty much impossible to make an emulator for the video game systems that exist today, whereas emulation is common among the older systems that are much less high tech.

  16. shoegazer says:

    @Meghann: If you’d read the linked article, no, it’s not piracy, it’s stupidity that’s killing the music industry.


    “As we analyze the industry’s core challenges… we consistently find that the industry has lost the ability to influence and control its future,” reads the report’s executive summary. “Worse, the industry has often appeared caught short, and its reactions accordingly wrong-footed.”

    …Unfortunately for the record labels, it looks like the glory days of the mid-90s have vanished forever, and no amount of lawsuits, DRM, or licensing deals will be able to turn back the clock.

    Good riddance.

  17. mikyrok says:

    The thing that has hurt the music industry the most is the ability to purchase 1 or 2 songs off an album and save yourself 10 bucks by not having to purchase the other 14 shitty songs that you never want to listen to.

  18. alicetheowl says:

    @ne0shell: They OPENED a Drive-In Theater? Wow. The last I’d heard, they were slowly going extinct.

    The thing I miss most about moving away from home is the Wellfleet Drive-In Theater. The only way they keep their head above water is by having a regular theater, as well, and by running a flea market on the grounds during the day.

    There’s nothing quite like going to the drive-in, though, and the fact that it’s cheaper for a double feature makes it that much better.

    Anyway, back on topic with me: I’m pretty sure my household follows this trend. We’ve definitely spent more on video games and systems in that last few years than we have on music, and we don’t even buy many games to begin with.

    The few albums we have bought in the last few years were found through one of the internet radio stations the RIAA is so intent on taxing into oblivion.

  19. stubar says:

    Why are we ignoring a rather obvious point: games are more expensive than music! With video/computer games ranging from $30-$80, as compared to their $10-$20 musical counterparts, it should be no real surprise that the exponentially growing games sales are threatening to eclipse those of music. Also, consider that game sales likely encompass the consoles themselves as well, as much as $600 per, while music sales likely don’t include the mp3 players or other devices used to play it.