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Rock Acts Ringing Up Sales Via Video Games

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Rock Acts Ringing Up Sales Via Video Games

Games like "Rock Band" and "Guitar Hero III" have proved their ability to breathe new life into classic rock sales. But can they do the same for new music?

Last month, Motley Crue decided to find out. The band placed its new single, the title track from "Saints of Los Angeles," for sale as a downloadable track on "Rock Band" well in advance of the album's release date, which has been pushed back to June 24. The only other place to obtain the track was iTunes.

According to data provided by the band's management, Tenth Street Entertainment, the track was downloaded more than 47,000 times via the Xbox 360 version of the game alone in the first week after it became available. ("Rock Band" publisher MTV Networks was unable to independently verify these figures, and total downloads that include the PlayStation 3 version of the game were not available.)

By comparison, the same track received slightly more than 10,000 downloads via digital services like iTunes and Amazon, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

That's a pretty big discrepancy considering that music bought via "Rock Band" can't be transferred to a portable music player or even a computer for later enjoyment. It can be played only via the game.

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