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As recorded music sales continue to plummet, the music industry has of late turned its focus towards the burgeoning video game industry as a primary vehicle to reach fresh music buyers, especially teen and young adult males. Is it working? Yes.

According to online buzz marketer, ElectricArtists, who surveyed over 1,000 hard-core video game "tastemakers" on a series of questions relating to the intersection of the music and gaming industries, 40% of the respondents said that after hearing a song they like in a video game have they then bought the CD. The survey revealed that new artists including OK GO, Andrew W.K., Good Charlotte, Nappy Roots, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Trust Company have gained invaluable awareness and popularity from being featured in video games.

"More and more, the major record labels are looking towards video games to help "break" new artists that might not have enough radio airplay or exposure on MTV to generate respectable sales," said Marc Schiller, CEO of ElectricArtists. "While the primary reason to buy the product remains fun and games, the music that adds pace and rhythm to them is having an impact on CD awareness and sales as well. The number of conversions from listener/players to music buyers is significant."

Among the other important findings, a noteworthy 74 percent agreed that soundtracks help sell video games; 43 percent of respondents said they downloaded a video game soundtrack from a file sharing network such as Napster or KaZaA; 40 percent of those responding learned of a new song or band from a game and then 27 percent of them went out and bought their CD; and more than nine out of ten -- a whopping 92 percent -- of respondents remember the music well after they stopped playing the game.

In addition, the respondents signaled out the Final Fantasy series as having the best soundtracks and they praised Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for the integration of recognizable songs from their past with terrific gameplay. Other games the respondents signaled out for praise included Castlevania, Shenmue, Tony Hawk and Metal Gear Solid Series.

"The survey results, gathered by ElectricArtists reinforce the power that the video game industry has on the entertainment world," commented Dale Strang, senior vice president for Ziff Davis Media's Game Group, "As a group, gamers are extremely active and influential music consumers, keenly aware of the effects games and music have on each other."

The online survey's more than 1,000 respondents were mostly males (95 percent) between the ages of 13 to 32-years old. In addition to the United States, they come from countries such as Australia, Denmark, the UK, and Canada, where video game sales are strong and Internet usage high.

Noted Schiller, "We also discovered that poorly chosen music can ruin a video game, so aside from the opportunity to spread the word and reap sales benefits from well coordinated games-to-music, this pairing must be done carefully and well." What can the music industry do? "Listen to gamers," responds Schiller. "Gamers know best what works. When we asked gamers to tell us what music would be best for the next in line of a series of games, the gamers had a lot to say."

Articles Reproduced under license from Shareware Music Machine - the world's biggest music software web site. Copyright © Hitsquad.com Ltd. 1995 - 2001 All Rights Reserved.