Maybe the music industry is burning into a pile of ashes larger than the economy currently is, but there may just be hope for them yet. Harmonix and MTV Games are hoping to help the industry, including the artists, by opening their Rock Band Network
to the public.
So maybe you won’t buy tracks to listen to on your mp3 player or archaic CD player, but you probably will buy tracks to play on your console. At least I can imagine that’s what the industry is counting on.
Artists new and old will be able to author their music into playable tracks for the Rock Band franchise with this Network. They get full power – including dictating the timetable and the pricing tiers. In the end, they get 30 percent of the cut. Not too shabby, considering the steaming mound of melted plastic and abandoned downloads that is their other option.
CEO and co-founder of Harmonix, Alex Rigopulos, had this to say about the matter: “We are excited to democratize the Rock Band platform and expand the music discovery experience to the greater music community with the Rock Band Network. We believe this will be great for fans, music lovers, bands and the music industry as a whole.”
The submitted music goes into various review sessions before being officially approved for the RBN Store (you can read on for the details). While our participation in the expansion of the RBN Store as laymen is currently limited to reviews and sampling, Harmonix and MTV Games will soon be announcing the Network to be open to consumers as well.
The Rock Band Network Beta Program Opens for Music Artists, Publishers and Record Labels to Author and Submit Songs
Rock Band Enthusiasts Encouraged to Join XNA Creators Club Online at the Now-Open Creators.RockBand.com to Test New Music Tracks and Participate in Peer Review Program
CAMBRIDGE, MA and NEW YORK, NY - Jan. 20, 2010 - Harmonix Music Systems and MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), today announced that the Rock Band Network beta program is now open to the public, giving emerging and established artists the tools needed to start authoring and submitting their music into Rock Band. The Rock Band Network, announced in July, is a ground-breaking initiative that gives musicians, publishers and record labels the ability to author their original recordings into gameplay files to promote and sell their music as playable Rock Band tracks through the soon-to-launch Rock Band Network Music Store (RBN Store).
“We are excited to democratize the Rock Band platform and expand the music discovery experience to the greater music community with the Rock Band Network,” said Alex Rigopulos, CEO and co-founder of Harmonix. “We believe this will be great for fans, music lovers, bands and the music industry as a whole.”
"The Rock Band Network opens the Rock Band universe to musicians at any stage of their career, empowering them to release the songs they choose, on their timetable, via our proven music distribution platform," said Paul DeGooyer, Senior Vice President of Electronic Games and Music for MTV Networks Music Group. "It is a high-value business proposition that features powerful promotional impact for artists and songwriters, while at the same time adding real sales to their bottom lines."
Artists who submit songs for the Rock Band Network Music Store will be able to choose from multiple pricing tiers for individual tracks and receive a royalty of 30 percent of the retail selling price (excluding tax) for every track purchased through the RBN Store. Before they are approved to be sold, songs are submitted to http://Creators.RockBand.com. The author submits the song to one of two areas: Playtest, where the community delivers feedback on a work in progress track, or Peer Review, where a revised song goes when it is considered a final draft and ready to be posted for sale. Once in Peer Review, songs are tested for playability and checked to check for violations of XNA Creators Club Online community standards (vulgarity, adult content, legal concerns, etc.). Peer Reviewers have the unique opportunity to play Rock Band Network content for free, well in advance of a track’s commercial release. These fans can help shape the track’s final form, rating how fun and challenging the authoring is, and helping flag issues to make the song the best it can be. Anyone who owns Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, can join the Playtest and Peer Review processes by purchasing an XNA Creators Club Online Premium membership through http://creators.xna.com/membership.
Once tracks are approved, they will be transferred to the Rock Band Network Store, an in-game music marketplace where the millions of Rock Band fans will be able to both hear and play samples of songs before they purchase. Songs will debut exclusively on Xbox 360 for 30 days. A selection of standout tracks will then be made available on the PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and the Wii™ home videogame console from Nintendo.
How to get started:
· Wondering How to Submit a Song? http://creators.rockband.com/docs/Website Scroll down to “Adding a song to the pipeline."
· Want to Become a Peer Reviewer? http://creators.rockband.com/docs/Playtest_Process
The Rock Band Network Store will open to consumers in the near future to be announced at a later date. With more than 1,000 tracks available to date in the standard Rock Band platform, the Rock Band Network Music Store will exponentially increase the number of available songs, further securing MTV Games and Harmonix’s position as the leading provider of downloadable content for music-based video games.