EA, Nettwerk launch label
Distribution venture makes original music from games like Medal of Honor, The Sims, NBA Live, and FIFA Soccer available on major download services.
Electronic Arts today said that it is launching a digital music distribution label focused on making original compositions for EA's games available on paid music download services.
The venture is a partnership with Canadian label Nettwerk Music Group. It will make most of the music originally composed for EA games available on services like Apple's iTunes, Yahoo Music Unlimited, MSN, Napster, and RealNetworks' Rhapsody. It will also be available on popular ringtone download sites.
Steve Schnur, head of music and music marketing at EA, said consumer demand for EA's original music in digital formats and the growing popularity of music download services made the move a no-brainer.
"People expect mobility with their music, and our customers are digital media masters," Schnur said. "How can we expect them to get this music from anywhere other than a digital medium? It would be silly for us to go off pressing CDs and selling them at a retailer."
The deal does not include any music licensed by EA for its games, but EA's own catalog is blessed with some of the biggest names in music. It includes beats from renowned hip-hop producers like Just Blaze (NBA Live 2004), X-Ecutioners (SSX 3), and Da Riffs (NBA Live 06), as well as rock compositions from Joe Satriani (NASCAR 06) and former Devo front man Mark Mothersbaugh (The Sims).
The catalog also includes electronic beats from famed techno DJ Paul Oakenfold for FIFA Soccer 2005, as well as the scores for the Medal of Honor series by Michael Giacchino, who has composed music for Pixar's The Incredibles and ABC's Lost and Alias.
Giacchino's score for Medal of Honor is already among the top sellers on iTunes in the UK, Schnur said.
Nettwerk is known for breaking artists like Sarah McLachlan, Sum 41, and Avril Lavigne.
"We've entered a new age, where video games are arguably more powerful than the radio when it comes to exposing audiences to music," said Terry McBride, Nettwerk's CEO.
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