[casual_games] Casual/Mobile Games and RIAA, MPAA

John Viguerie clubvig at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 24 21:17:17 EST 2006

Thanks for the excellent points and questions...

> 1.  Does the music biz. really need a different
> product?  They are 
> losing retail sales due to the fact that whole
> albums at retail are no 
> longer as compelling but doesn't digital
> distribution cut down on their 
> costs and inventory risk?  Has iTunes meant more or
> less revenue for the 
> oft-reported beleagured music business.

Recent year-end figures bear out that digital music
sales, at least so far, are not incremental.  Digital
downloads are a meager 6% of total music sales, but CD
unit sales fell 6%.  Demand for music is soaring (or
else what are all those players for?), but alas sales
are not.  Inventory risk (the price of the mfg and
logistics of plastic disks) is less than 5% unit price
for CD and mostly negligible.  There are half the
number of artists under record major label contract
today than in 1995.

> 2.  TV is moving into the iPod model - is this not
> an opportunity that 
> will lead to greater revenue and ad. opps?  I wasn't
> paying for Lost 
> before but can imagine paying $1.49 for a missed
> episode which is just 
> new money for them.

Certainly a popular option for many categories of
content.  However, not very likely to soon challenge
the tuned "windowing" distribution model employed by
movie biz... and the intermediation aversion by
incumbents still applies even afer today's
Disney-Pixar deal.  Longer tail for TV?  The
piracy-enabling tools and format conversion widgets
for the video side are somewhat encumbered which is a
far cry from the audio situation.  Is video iPod
download model the antidote to the shattering of the
cable TV business that 'a la carte' programming will
bring?  The product is still a lossy digital rip, tho.

> 3.  I'm curious about your background - not an
> attack or anything, just 
> curious where you are coming from.

I've been running a record label and building music
brands the last five years.

> As a small player in the casual space, big brands
> are not a welcome 
> thing.  They are going to go to the larger players
> who will then 
> accumulate more of the pie which will then be shared
> out of the space 
> with the brand holders.  Maybe it will grow the
> space but I'm dubious.  
> Back in the NES/SNES days, I worked on a lot of
> branded games and the 
> schedules were usually truncated and not
> accomodating to game play.
> In specifics, what do you think the big brands will
> offer Casual Games 
> that might lead to a greater user experience than
> casual games currently 
> offer and will evolve to offer?  Where is the
> cross-pollination going to 
> ocurr that actually gets the end user a new and more
> compelling 
> experience.  As I write this I'm thinking about the
> first time I heard 
> an audio tape story (Lonesome Dove) that actually
> offered more than a 
> print book due to a great performance by the reader.

They offer hit music, storylines, characters,
performers' likeness and image, brand extension,
cultural relevance, an audience... and budgets.

The set of creative assets that are necessary to
produce for traditional 'tier 1' music and movie
marketing and promotion (photography, package,
identity & graphic design, trade print & ads, music
videos, web site, mini-sites, myspace profiles)... 
these are all undertaken and produced by excellent
experienced talented professionals... but the high
margin product (CDs/DVD) which has to date financed
all that gloss is in marked decline...
and their trade craft has not prepared them for the
era when their product will be experienced primarily
on mobile, networked, interactive devices...

Expect the art/craft/process/technology of the
mobile/casual game to now be more directly relevant to
these companies' branding, merchandising, promotion
and bottom line.  Expect several new categories of
games and game channels to emerge that serve their

[adult swim] PLUS DangerDoom PLUS Gametap.com
Big time media coming into the casual game space with
dope music themes and cutting edge counter culture.

Is their opportunity here for small as well as large
studios?  More than ever I hope.

Thanks for your input Lennard.

> Lennard Feddersen
> CEO, Rusty Axe Games, Inc.
> www.RustyAxe.com
> Lennard at RustyAxe.com
> P. 250-635-7623 F. 1-309-422-2466
> 3521 Dogwood, Terrace, BC, Canada, V8G-4Y7
> John Viguerie wrote:
> >The music biz needs a new digital product that can
> >command more than the .99 price of a lossy
> digi-rip. 
> >The tv/movie biz is scared to death that the same
> >culture of ripping and trading that has decimated
> the
> >RIAA will soon be visited upon the MPAA member
> >companies.
> >
> >The casual/mobile game technology formats and
> business
> >models offer some compelling financial and market
> >benefits to popular music and movie brand owners.
> >
> >This is an exercise to test the current and
> >extrapolate the future relationship between
> >casual/mobile games and the traditional content
> >industry's brands & franchises...
> >
> >Read Timeline.htm and then
> MusicMoviesCasualGames.htm
> >
> >This is NOT ABOUT "Sponge Bob" plus "Collapse" or
> >"Li'l Jon Golf", but it SORT OF IS...  The digital
> >entertainment products of the future are hybrids of
> >image, audio, play features, interactivity and
> >branding that are NEITHER currently embodied in the
> >traditional entertainment products NOR standard
> casual
> >game modes.
> >
> >There are ~32,000 records released in North America
> >every year, only ~100 will be certified as 'hits'. 
> >There are about ~200 "major budget" feature length
> >movies released every year out of a total
> population
> >of ~700.  Adoption of the casual game format by the
> >MPAA/RIAA member companies as a key branding and
> >merchandising strategy could significantly
> accelerate
> >demand for 
> >- creative and technical production services from
> >casual game studios
> >- secure, robust management, distribution and
> >provisioning services from casual/mobile content
> >distribution platform providers
> >
> >I invite your replies, comments, anecdotes,
> examples,
> >arguments, criticisms, insults, etc. in support of
> or
> >against the argument.
> >
> >Evolve Entertainment Today.
> >
> >Thanks,
> >John
> >clubvig at yahoo.com
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >Casual_Games mailing list
> >Casual_Games at igda.org
> >  
> >
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