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Videogames now "important" for music industry

Research indicates games can help discovery as US music market falls by 2%

The music market in the US has contracted by 2 per cent on plummeting CD sales, according to data from NPD - although entertainment media rival videogames is helping the music industry by providing new platforms for artists to promote their tracks.

Estimates point to CD sales falling by around 19 per cent in the third quarter of 2008 in North America, with continued threats from peer-to-peer networks, but according to NPD music-based videogames have now become "important" to the music industry.

"Year-to-date through November, the music and dance genre was the best-selling genre in video games, representing 16 percent of total software sales for the year," said the company's videogames analyst Anita Frazier.

And Russ Crupnick, NPD's entertainment analyst, added: "Even though gaming competes with music for the consumer's entertainment wallet share, music-related games are evolving into an important source for music discovery that can have positive revenue implications for the recording industry."

Specifically, titles such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero have been cited as key platforms for record companies to make money through licensing deals, but also to debut new music.