Video Game Industry On Nitro While Music Cries Alone In The Dark With No Friends

The video game industry is on fire! Wooo! Sales are up! Times are good!

In December, Nintendo had its biggest month ever with the hot-selling game system. Holiday shoppers bought 1.4 million Wiis, according to sales data released Thursday by the NPD Group. The Wii’s success helped drive the video game industry to a record-setting $17.9 billion in sales, about 43% higher than 2006’s $12.5 billion, which was also a record.

Meanwhile the music industry isn’t having such a fun time. Sales are down. People are getting fired at EMI and the Rolling Stones are all pissed off about it.

What’s up, music? Video games are kicking your butt.

Gaming industry sales grow by 43% in 2007 [USAToday]


Edit Your Comment

  1. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    Well, if you take out the RIAA (which exploits the musicians as much as the buyers) then this might all be better.

  2. MercuryPDX says:

    Hrmmmm…. compare and contrast:

  3. UpsetPanda says:

    The majority of popular music out there pretty much sucks. My favorite artists put out new CDs, which I buy, but I overall don’t listen the majority of the top 40 hits.

  4. gruffydd says:

    By JD – EXACTLY!

    And sometimes I’ll buy a song here and there from iTunes…

  5. jerros says:

    It’s really not fair to compare the music & gaming industry like this.

    The music industry spent years coming up with various schemes to make consumers buy more albums. Want that song they play on the radio? Well you have to get the new-remastered version of your bands album. Your 8 Track tapes finally died? Time to rebuy your entire music collection on Casette, then CD. And lets not forget the years and years of albums with 1 good song and 14 bad ones.

    I can’t blame consumers for rebelling when the MP3 format first came out. For the first time they had the oppertunity to select what they did and did not like from an artist rather than having to get it all.

    And with all the constant RIAA suits, crippeling DRM, I’m honestly amazed any music is selling. They are really just shooting themselves in the foot over & over again. They just need to say “Alright anyone who pirated music up to this point, your forgiven. But now that we have all our music available for download legally we will sue anyone from this point on who pirates music”

    As for the gaming industry, they’ve had to deal with piracy for years. Yet they still manage to make a buck and maintain a good relationship with the consumers.

  6. Calafurious says:

    This is all blow-back from the days of mall cd stores charging $18.99 for cd’s. If we were accustomed to buying cd’s at a maximum price of $11.99 regardless of the release date or artist we’d all be trained now to keep buying.

  7. JayDeEm says:

    @JD: This is exactly why I like Yahoo Music and other subscription services. Most popular music is garbage, with the occasional decent song. I would never purchase a CD based on that one good song because even that song is at best, a rental. I do all of my listening on a computer or in my car (in which case I have Sirius) and do not own an iPod or other portable player.

  8. UpsetPanda says:

    I really like AOL Music because they stream up to 10 CDs every week, and I can listen to a whole CD before I decide whether I want to buy it or not. In some cases, they stream CDs before they are even released. I was able to listen to the new Smashing Pumpkins CD the week before it came out and concluded that I just couldn’t recapture that awesome Pumpkins spirit from the mid-90s. Saved me $12.99 too!

  9. 3drage says:

    Well let’s see, one company is ran on the business model to make its customers happy and give them enjoyment. Another company relies on income from extorting customers through the threats of lawsuits and other such nonsense. I wonder which antiquated, money-grubbing, company; who have dinosaur execs who are out of touch with current market is seeing a decline in profits? Anyone? Anyone?

  10. MercuryPDX says:

    @jerros: The music industry spent years coming up with various schemes to make consumers buy more albums. Time to rebuy your entire music collection on Casette, then CD.

    I counter Nintendo (NES), SNES, N64, GameCube, and Wii. You not only have to buy “a new player”, you need to rebuild your game library for it.

    As for the gaming industry, they’ve had to deal with piracy for years. Yet they still manage to make a buck and maintain a good relationship with the consumers.

    Except when they cry “Foul!” because Blockbuster (and others) rent games, Gamestop (and others) sell used games, all of which they make no money on.

  11. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Hmm, sometimes karma can be a real bitch (yes, I’m talking to you, RIAA).

  12. FessLove says:

    The difference is merely convienance. Lot harder to download and play a Wii game than to download a song. It’s all about whats easiest.

  13. coren says:

    @mercurypdx: More Gamestop than anything, and for good reason. They’re the Best Buy of video game sellers, with all their shady practices and markups

  14. brkl says:

    Of course, it’s not at all possible the music industry has been doing worse because young people with a limited budget are buying $60 games as opposed to $20 CDs.

    No, it must be piracy, they couldn’t be losing popularity to another artform. That’d be absurd.

  15. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    I actually bought more music last year than I have in the previous 7 combined. The difference? They are all-non RIAA affiliated artists. I’ve been boycotting the RIAA since way back in the day.

  16. Petrol42 says:

    I sorta agree with CALAFURIOUS except I feel CDs should cost around $5 to $7 dollars and CDs should now include extras like a full color insert with an autographed group photo and maybe some stickers and possibly a music video on an included DVD.

    The digital age definitely had something to do with the decline of music sales but with that and the combination of high CD prices probably had more to do with the decline in sales. Back when music was still being sold on cassette tape, the average price was $7 bucks so the market can definitely sustain itself within that price range. CDs cost less to produce than cassettes so why are CDs still $13 to $19 dollars? They cost that much because the top artists get payed a shitload of money. The record industry needs to diversify itself and give more value to the consumer to combat illegal downloads. If that means Jay-Z has one less Ferrari in his stable and ‘lil Kim can’t fill her closet with Jimmy Choo shoes, so be it. We live in a day and age where “cool” sells and if you include a bunch of cool shit with the CDs like I mentioned earlier, that will definitely sell more CDs because if Johnny has cool shit, Tommy wants cool shit and you can’t download cool shit like an autographed pic or anything physical like that.

    We will always have people that continue to pirate things like games and music but there a still alot of people who enjoy going out and buying stuff they like. I personally love video games and I’d rather pay for a game then download it because I get a case with nice artwork and an instruction manual that I could put with all my other games. $60 dollars is alot to pay for a game but I find it acceptable because I find great value in games.

  17. larrys1690 says:

    Personally, the music industry can blame the availability of affordable movies on dvd for the loss of my business. Once it hit the point that I could get dvds of new releases cheaper than cds, a good chunk of my disposable $ went into expanding my movie collection. Music – the radio works for me – and it’s free…

  18. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    This was a long time coming…

    I remember when the CDs just shot up overnight from 10-12 Dollars a CD to 20-25 Dollars, and shortly the RIAA making claims to piracy as the excuse for this happening. Then you had the frivlous lawsuits, the regurgitated fluff that some call music, being played every other minute on the radio and stores, the lobbied rewriting of the consumer’s rights to “fair use”, among other things as well that I also remember in my head everytime I walk into a mall or shopping center that reminds me “Hey, I don’t need to buy this crap! They’ll just play it for me in about 30 more seconds!”

    Way to go RIAA… Turning away once regular CD shoppers by the thousands at a time.

  19. vitonfluorcarbon says:


    I have to somewhat disagree with you. The Wii will play Gamecube games, and you can very cheaply and easily buy the old NES and SNES games over the internet for the console – Nintendo is making money by reselling me Super Mario Bros for the NES for the low price of $5, but I love that I have my old game available on my new system.

    I don’t think the music industry really meant to make us buy stuff twice or thrice. The recording technology advanced, and we were willing to pay to get things like better sound quality and ability to instantly skip tracks, program, etc.

    Where the music industry screwed up was to not embrace MP3. When Napster was Napster, I could download music and guess what…. if I liked it, I usually bought the CD. For them to shut down the file sharing sites was wrong. I haven’t bought a CD in years, but occasionally will download a song on iTunes. Still a lot less money coming out of my pocket than before, and apparently I am not the only one in this category.

  20. My dad is in the industry, and he’s actually working a lot right now for a lot of big-name independent bands and he just had a movie come out that he had scored. Music sales are ONLY suffering if you’re one of the big 5 labels. The grassroots industry is doing fine.

  21. mac-phisto says:

    @Petrol42: SPOT ON with your assessment.

    i get all my music from [] (obviously, their selection is somewhat limited to a particular genre). their prices are competitive, plus they still sell vinyl & a lot of harder-to-find releases. they even throw in swag every once in awhile.

    about value for dollar though (on games, movies & music)…have you noticed that publishers have begun skimping on things like inserts & album art? my housemate bought the original (un-fucked-with) star wars trilogy the other day (sucker) & it has a single page insert plugging the franchise. ea games has really been skimping on manuals – many are a couple pages (b&w) with little or no artwork. other publishers seem to be following suit. personally, one of my favorite parts of getting a new game is the 15 minutes i spend on the throne reading the backstory presented in the manual. not so much anymore.

  22. justaconsumer says:

    The music industry as a whole – sucks. They are getting what they deserve. They made many huge mistakes. The entire world does not want to hear gangsta rap. People are still upset about paying $20 for a CD that cost them $0.50 to produce. Clear Channel is also to blame for their monopolistic tactics. I hope they all go down in flames.

  23. @mercurypdx: I skip every other generation. They make the new ones backwards-compatible now, and you have all the games from the LAST console (Game Cube) to play while you wait for the universe of games for the NEW console (Wii) to get good.

  24. Silversmok3 says:

    To RIAA:

    “What goes around,goes around ,goes around,goes around,comes back around,baby”

    Seiously, the last time I bought a CD was at least 6 years ago.And I was pissed that I spent $12.00 on a 10 track CD with only 2 decent songs on it.

  25. Firstborn Dragon says:

    Like everyone else, I hardly buy CDs. In fact, the last CD I remember going out and buying was one that came from a British Orchestra.

    And there were a few CDs I asked for that I loved the music from that I got for Christmas. But frankly, most music I like comes from..


    And there is NO WHERE to get this stuff legally for a reasonable price. We’re taking 30-40$ for the CD, and THEN shipping, taxes, terrifies, duties, and all that. Ain’t worth it.

    If they can’t bother selling the music I want at a price I can afford, why should I bother buying?

  26. Chigaimasmaro says:

    The RIAA and the rest of the music industry will continue to suffer in the internet age because of their refusal to embrace the technological advances that have invented.

    The video game industry (like the pr0n industry) whole-heartedly takes advantage of what’s out there to drive their product (first and third party) sales. Also you notice the trend in the video game and pr0n industry is to have an “INTERNATIONAL” presence. This is important because it opens up new consumer markets using the internet and advance technologies to reach these consumers.

    The Music industry (in my opinion), is worse than the DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-Ray consortium’s which do massive amounts of “region” locking on their products. There should be NO reason why music can’t be sold internationally. As was mentioned previous, there are so many added costs to purchasing music internationally via CD, that people just skip the high cost and hop on bittorent and the usenet.

    Amazon already has mp3 downloads, but there are only tracks predominately from the USA. I listen to music in comes in various languages and forms. Even though I’m a HUGE fan of Amazon’s and iTunes for having the ability of purchasing tracks without DRM, it still pains me to see that I can’t get any music that maybe in Korean, Taiwanese, French, or Arabic.

    So, I have very little sympathy for an industry that took WAY too long in embracing the internet and digital technology and instead started punishing the very people that kept them financial comfortable since the radio age ended and home audio systems came to be common place.

  27. coren says:

    @Petrol42: Maybe top flight artists make big money on record sales, but if you’re not a U2 or a RHCP or Jay-Z or whoever that sells out arena tours, you’re not making that kind of cash, more like maybe a dollar or two per cd sale.

  28. axiomatic says:

    Big party at my house the day the RIAA goes down for good. ;-) Can’t wait!