Sunday, May 18, 2008

The bright spot in the entertainment biz

The woes of the music biz have been discussed endlessly (here and elsewhere). The movie biz is hurting as well, and the networks' TV ratings are crashing through the floor. Not coincidentally, video game revenue growth has been phenomenal. It's not a coincidence because teenage boys and young adult males have always been among the biggest buyers of music, and a large part of the audience for movies and TV.

The incredible $500mil generated by Grand Theft Auto IV in its first week (the company is calling it the biggest entertainment event ever -- possibly hyperbole, but I can't think offhand of anything bigger) is not the only evidence of the shift. Activision had no new intros, but is still generating great results based on older titles:
Activision Inc posted a quarterly profit on Thursday that blew past expectations as demand for its "Guitar Hero 3" and "Call of Duty 4" video games made up for a complete lack of new releases. [,,,]

Revenue was $602.5 million, towering 93 percent above a year ago and burying the average estimate of $373.6 million.
Not bad, and more than enough to have folks at the record companies saying, "So that's where my missing $600 million went!"

Meanwhile, Microsoft announced that it has reached the ten million mark in sales of Xbox 360, although Nintendo's Wii is outselling it now and close behind at 8.8 million.

The worst thought for the traditional entertainment venues is what this probably means in terms of talent. If you were a young, talented, creative person, would you be dreaming of a future in music, movies, TV ... or video games?

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