Friday, March 28, 2008

GTA IV and music sales

My God this is cool. In game advertising done right, with consumer input and using the consumer's (gamer's) own interest to drive sales. THIS IS ONLINE SALES done right. Rockstar is a real trendsetter, as always. Hopefully the internet connectivity won't let this down.

Yahoo! is reporting that Rockstar and Amazon are teaming up to offer ZiT, a music download service specifically created for Grand Theft Auto IV.

In a partnership bound to shake, rattle and roll both the music biz and interactive entertainment, Rockstar Games and Amazon have teamed up to create an ambitious new model for digital music distribution. Built exclusively for the upcoming video game blockbuster Grand Theft Auto IV, it allows players to buy real-world MP3s of tracks heard over the game's numerous radio stations in a very seamless manner. (Initially, this service will only be available in the U.S.)

Advertised throughout Liberty City, the cheekily-named "ZiT" technology is built into the game's mobile phone interface system. As players cruise around the world listening to the in-game radio, they can at any point 'mark' a song by opening their phone and dialing the number ZIT-555-0100. Gamers will then receive a text message with the song and artist names, and if they're registered at the forthcoming Rockstar Games Social Club community site, they'll find an e-mail waiting in their inbox with a direct link to a custom playlist on All songs tagged "ZiT" will be stored here, available for preview and purchase at Amazon's going rate of $.89-$.99 per track. Best of all, those MP3s are free of the Digital Rights Management (DRM) limitations imposed on files downloaded through Apple's iTunes store and thus can be imported into any computer or digital device with no constraints.

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