With the coming rebranding of the Zune marketplace to “Xbox Music,” am inclined to wonder if this will lead to even more cross promotion on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Microsoft has been extremely good to the members of the Zune marketplace on Xbox Live by having weekly deals and discounts highlighted on the dashboard, and featuring artists and contests that could allow you to play a game or two with celebrities. But what more would I hope to see? A little bit of gamer-goodies.
I have highlighted several bands that gamers would enjoy, from Anamanaguchi to I Fight Dragons, but I think it would be a big plus if we could get a few extra perks, here and there, as gamers who also enjoy music! My prime example: video game sound tracks are becoming a huge business right now. Events like Video Games Live should speak to that. So why not offer discounted or free soundtracks to people who buy digital copies of games? Buy Halo Reach on the Xbox Live Marketplace, get a download of the soundtrack for free! Or buy Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (the game) and get 50% off a movie purchase!
There is a chance things like this already exist, but more often than not I simply see limited-time-only simultaneous promotions. I would be far more interested in seeing digital downloads carry some of the “limited edition” type perks that come with physical copies of games. It seems fair: I’m buying a game which I cannot trade in to a Gamestop a few months later at the same price as the retail copy, which I could at least sell at a yard sale a few years from now. Since I’m spending the money, with no chance at getting a percentage of that back, why not toss in a few songs for me?
In turn, the more I grow my Xbox Music library, the more I will want to get all of my music from Microsoft, creating that cycle of people who are hooked in, in a similar fashion to the way iTunes has everybody locked in to their platform. I don’t see any other good way of making ground into Apple’s fortress of music.