About a year ago, I posted something here reacting in mock horror when the band Pearl Jam decided to release their new album on multiple formats, including the video game Rock Band. Now comes the news, reported in the Wall Street Journal, that Soundgarden have earned a platinum album for sales of their comeback retrospective LP Telephantasm, by bundling it with the newest release of the videogame Guitar Hero “Warriors In Rock.” According to the article, this album, which is Soundgarden’s first release in 13 years, was also the first album to go Platinum INSTANTLY, because none of the discs could be returned.
This appears to be a four-way win: for the band, Activision (manufacturer of Guitar Hero), Universal, and the RIAA. Is it a bold new marketing strategy, or is it a last ditch cash grab by a once revered, once relevant band who have not put out a record in 13 years? Does it destroy the legitimacy of gold and platinum status? Does any of this matter? I honestly do not know and am completely on the fence about all this. But I bet it would be fun to put the deal together.