Sony launches game app to “revolutionise” music industry revenue

Sony Music Entertainment is launching a new game app that it says will provide a new revenue stream for the music industry.

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The Nolan Sisters

The major label has signed a six month exclusive deal with games studio 8linQ, to license its artists’ tracks to “Say What?!”, a lyrics-based game where users match lyrics from real songs to a speeding conveyor belt of cryptic icons.

Say What?! will include music from an array of Sony artists such Calvin Harris, Kasabian and The Nolans. The game launches on 10 August.

Songs in the game are chart-eligible when downloaded, meaning Say What?! could be used to help launch new artists or relaunch formerly popular bands.

The game will also provide the music industry with data about how often users play tracks, including what time of day is the most popular to play the game with certain songs.

Kate Szolnokia, of Sony Music Entertainment’s synchronisation licensing for film and games division, says: “It’s not only a great game and something our artists are really keen to be involved in, but it’s a revolutionary new business model for us and a great way to reach out to the ever increasing gaming audience on mobile phones.”

The UK music industry has struggled in the wake of the digital age, with revenue declining 4.8% year on year to £3.8bn in 2010.

Despite the drop in CD sales and spending on live events, digital revenues were up almost 20% year on year to £316.5m in the period.
UK music royalties body, PRS for Music, says in its Adding Up The UK Music Industry report that although music revenue growth is slowing, other more creative digital revenue streams are likely to lead overall growth in the industry.

Will Page, chief economist for PRS for Music, says: “The licensing revenue streams which lie outside of the conventional radar are not only displaying impressive growth but illustrating the pace of diversification now taking place in the UK music industry.”

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