We've seen lots of new ideas this month: Chicago throwback-rappers The Cool Kids went through Mountain Dew to release an album; Earbits announced city-specific radio stations that survive on zero ads because everything they play is actually an ad; and now, a major label is using social gaming apps on Facebook to push product.
The third case comes courtesy of The EMI Group — the smallest of music’s Big Four major labels, which also include Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment. EMI agreed last week to a partnership with Facebook social gaming company MXP4, maker of Bopler Games, which has approximately 200,000 users each months by Facebook’s count.
As part of the deal, Bopler — which launched in April and announced on Friday that it’s moving to Los Angeles, we assume to be closer to the music industry — can make little Facebook games out of EMI’s music catalog and sell the label’s music within the games.
The idea of turning music into something “playable” in the sense of a game is a strong one, as noted earlier – especially on Facebook, given the runaway success of other amusements there, such as Farmville and YouTube. It’s nice to know that even as its owner struggles to sell the label to the highest bidder, this major label is opening up to business models that go this far past the tried methods of yesteryear.
Music, games, and Facebook. What’s not to like? Actually, the jury’s still out on these Bopler/EMI games, and here’s why:
As with all social media ventures, this may all come down to numbers. Fortunately for Bopler, nearly 200,000 users have already jumped on board, as mentioned above — a promising figure.
If it can find a way to streamline the payment process and actively promote the catalog a bit better, this agreement and others like it could lead to a new widespread method of paying for (and playing with) music. Right now, though, our impression of Bopler Games was that it’s a bit gimmicky (not that that stopped Farmville).
Bopler Games is a music-driven gaming platform, where music influences gameplay. Choose from a wide variety of fun games and great tracks by the likes of LMFAO, Lily Allen, Jackson 5, Pet Shop Boys, Fall Out Boy… and challenge your friends.