Rock Band revenues increase in Q2 2010

cherokeesamcherokeesam Washed Up
edited August 2010 in Rock Band
Yay....boring industry number-crunching.

But for those who care, there's been some interesting articles posted today about the sales numbers for Rock Band these days.

http://www.next-gen.biz/news/viacom-cuts-rock-band-losses


While Viacom publicly blamed HMX & Rock Band for company losses in Q1 2010, and demanded payback on bonuses they had issued the company, looks like Q2 has seen a pronounced turnaround:
MTV and Harmonix parent company Viacom cut its losses on the Rock Band franchise in the quarter ended June 30, 2010.

The company’s Media Networks division, which houses its videogame business, saw quarterly revenue up six per cent year-over-year to $2.09 billion (£1.3b), while operating income rose 14 per cent to $789 million (£496m), “driven by higher affiliate and advertising revenues as well as lower losses from Rock Band”, the company said.

Company-wide revenue was flat at $3.3 billion (£2.1b), while operating income rose 28 per cent to $794 million (£499m), “on improving trends in the advertising market, continued strength of affiliate revenues and lower film and distribution costs for the quarter”.

Viacom blamed a decline in worldwide ancillary revenues on slow Rock Band sales for the prior quarter ended March 31, 2010.
I don't think GDRB contributed anything to that rise in revenue from RB (in fact, gamesindustry.biz wrote today that "the most recent full retail Rock Band titles, LEGO Rock Band and The Beatles Rock Band, failed to buck the trend, whilst add-on Green Day Rock Band sold only 82,000 in its first month in North America, despite MTV hoping it would be bigger than The Beatles game"), so I'm going to go out on a limb and give the shout-out to the RBN and to a revised strategy of releasing mainstream DLC over the past few months (and coming months) instead of the niche stuff that forum-goers have been constantly requesting.

Anyway, congrats on increasing revenue in Q2, HMX, and I hope that the sales juggernaut that RB3 will bring will finally get Viacom off your back (for awhile anyway). :)

Comments

  • Alvarado6411Alvarado6411 Dethbringer
    edited August 2010
    I still think they should put more commercials and advertisements for DLC. Like I can totally see like maybe a Rolling Stone ad and it lists songs/bands that are on Rock Band.
  • kkslider9827kkslider9827 Opening Act
    edited August 2010
    RB needs more advertising
  • nascarfan19nascarfan19 Headliner
    edited August 2010
    kkslider9827;3914901 said:
    RB needs more advertising
    i haven't seen anything that could have advertised RB in months (which was TB:RB) and i never even saw a GB:RB commercial
  • PhisioniPhisioni Opening Act
    edited August 2010
    I work at Best Buy, and the most common question I have about Rock Band is why there aren't more songs for it. People just don't know about DLC, or they'd buy a ton more. One couple told me, as soon as I mentioned that CCR was available, that they were going to buy that as soon as they got home.
  • woodwindpizzawoodwindpizza Road Warrior
    edited August 2010
    Phisioni;3915095 said:
    I work at Best Buy, and the most common question I have about Rock Band is why there aren't more songs for it. People just don't know about DLC, or they'd buy a ton more. One couple told me, as soon as I mentioned that CCR was available, that they were going to buy that as soon as they got home.
    Wow. :eek: Hopefully more advertising along with it being more apparent in Rock Band 3 will fix this problem. But seriously, the loading screen always says "Check out the Music Store for more songs." or something like that...
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited August 2010
    woodwindpizza;3915372 said:
    But seriously, the loading screen always says "Check out the Music Store for more songs." or something like that...
    That's a chicken-and-egg problem, though. You have to buy the game to see that loading screen. And many people aren't buying the game because they don't like at least a significant portion of the 84 songs on disc.

    I agree this game could stand a little more public fanfare.
  • MikachuMikachu Road Warrior
    edited August 2010
    FujiSkunk;3915387 said:
    And many people aren't buying the game because they don't like at least a significant portion of the 84 songs on disc.
    Then it's their own fault for not taking the time to at least read the back of the box, where it says they can buy hundreds of other songs from the Music Store.
  • lvmathemagicianlvmathemagician Road Warrior
    edited August 2010
    You folks do understand that RB lost money again don't you?
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited August 2010
    Mikachu;3915391 said:
    Then it's their own fault for not taking the time to at least read the back of the box, where it says they can buy hundreds of other songs from the Music Store.
    No argument there, but that's not the point of this discussion.
  • XTommyDonXXTommyDonX Road Warrior
    edited August 2010
    I'm still very surprised with GDRB's sales, especially due to the many advertisements that I saw on TV. I love the idea of advertising DLC through VH1 and MTV that they've been implementing since RB2's release. They should definitely branch out to other networks and even magazines and websites though. To really keep their DLC sales consistent, they need a lot of sticking power with the actual game. RB3 will need to keep people occupied for a long time so that the users will keep up with any content that may be added. I feel that problems like faulty instruments which many, many people experienced with Rock Band 1 and 2 can harm that sticking power and cause people to quit playing. I really have my fingers crossed that by the third iteration of the game, the hardware design will finally be top-notch.
  • PhisioniPhisioni Opening Act
    edited August 2010
    Mikachu;3915391 said:
    Then it's their own fault for not taking the time to at least read the back of the box, where it says they can buy hundreds of other songs from the Music Store.
    The people who usually ask are in their 50s. Most played at a party or saw somebody play, and they're interested in it, but they've never played games before. It's not that they don't want to learn, it's that they don't even know what downloadable content means.
  • cherokeesamcherokeesam Washed Up
    edited August 2010
    lvmathemagician;3915396 said:
    You folks do understand that RB lost money again don't you?
    The company’s Media Networks division, which houses its videogame business, saw quarterly revenue up six per cent year-over-year to $2.09 billion (£1.3b), while operating income rose 14 per cent to $789 million (£496m), “driven by higher affiliate and advertising revenues as well as lower losses from Rock Band”, the company said.
    losing less money than Q1 = increased revenue

    Also kills the theory advanced by some people on this forum that the music gaming industry is dying.

    If a game that is over 2 years old is actually *increasing* its revenue, what does that tell you?
  • Andyx1337Andyx1337 Rising Star
    edited August 2010
    cherokeesam;3915430 said:
    losing less money than Q1 = increased revenue

    Also kills the theory advanced by some people on this forum (hey, aren't you one of them? yeah, thought so) that the music gaming industry is dying.

    If a game that is over 2 years old is actually *increasing* its revenue, what does that tell you?
    It's achieving classic status or people are buying it so they can get prepared for Rock Band 3, I know I prepare for an awesome sequel if I haven't given the original a chance.
  • JerkinatorJerkinator Road Warrior
    edited August 2010
    Well if their revenue is increased...

    Time for more Beatles DLC!
  • Bront20Bront20 The Writing's on the Wall
    edited August 2010
    Creative accounting means that you can never quite trust the numbers on a specific project. If RB was losing money as they say, RB3 wouldn't be coming out.

    Movie Studios use creative accounting to show that movies make a fraction of the money they state they do, so they can pay out less commission and pay less in taxes. I'm guessing it's similar with Viacom and games.
  • bjordan42bjordan42 Rising Star
    edited August 2010
    Andyx1337;3915560 said:
    It's achieving classic status or people are buying it so they can get prepared for Rock Band 3, I know I prepare for an awesome sequel if I haven't given the original a chance.
    Wow, that's exactly the reason why I bought Rock Band 2. I thought I'd buy it, and then wait for Rock Band 3 to add the songs since there were "a couple" I liked. Then I actually played it, and I loved more than half the songs, and I am still playing it after two weeks. :D
  • RyoandrRyoandr Opening Act
    edited August 2010
    When you (willingly or not) cut europe from your revenues, and almost only rely on NA, you simply cannot hope to stay balanced or positive.
  • ThatAuthoringGroupThatAuthoringGroup Numero Uno Super **** Fanboy #1
    edited August 2010
    I think Rock Band Network is figuring into the increased revenue as well.

    I mean almost 500 songs with no licensing or coding costs is almost 'free' money to Harmonix.

    I'm happy to help the bottom line :p
  • cherokeesamcherokeesam Washed Up
    edited August 2010
    Bront20;3915930 said:
    Creative accounting means that you can never quite trust the numbers on a specific project. If RB was losing money as they say, RB3 wouldn't be coming out.

    Movie Studios use creative accounting to show that movies make a fraction of the money they state they do, so they can pay out less commission and pay less in taxes. I'm guessing it's similar with Viacom and games.
    That sounds pretty much accurate about Viacom's motives, as evidenced in a separate Gamasutra article here:

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/29758/Viacom_Video_Game_Softness_May_Affect_Harmonix_Value.php

    To be perfectly honest, it sounds like Viacom is putting the screws to HMX. I hope RB3 is so successful that it gives HMX leverage to tell Viacom to back off, or (better yet) get lost.
  • Doom878Doom878 Road Warrior
    edited August 2010
    I think if the current RB2 menu had the Rock Band Store as the 2nd or 3rd selection and in big red letters, then more people would know about it. And instead of calling it that something like "Get More Music".

    Another problem is that casual gamers might not know to connect their unit to the internet. I have a friend that has a PS3 and she loves playing GH3. She didn't know if her PS3 was connected to the internet. Internet gaming is still new to the casual gamer. They probably even have a wireless router for their laptop and didn't realize that they could've d/led more. I mean I know people that don't know what HDMI is let alone if they're getting real HD from their SD box and HDTV.
  • SatansBestBuddySatansBestBuddy Opening Act
    edited August 2010
    I think we can all agree that if Rock Band had more exposure then there would be higher sales.

    Running commercials on MTV is a start, but branching out and, say, airing during the Today Show or The Colbert Report would be much better.

    And what about outside the US?

    Hell, even up here in Canada we're getting very little advertising and a two week waiting period between the US release and our own, and I don't think they've even released Rock Band 2 in Australia yet.
  • cherokeesamcherokeesam Washed Up
    edited August 2010
    I'm hoping Viacom will actually give RB3 the huge advertising package it deserves....start teasing it on the major networks now and in early September, but by mid-September start deluging TV, internet, radio and print with a full-on blitz.
  • edited August 2010
    Bront20;3915930 said:
    Creative accounting means that you can never quite trust the numbers on a specific project. If RB was losing money as they say, RB3 wouldn't be coming out.

    Movie Studios use creative accounting to show that movies make a fraction of the money they state they do, so they can pay out less commission and pay less in taxes. I'm guessing it's similar with Viacom and games.
    Interesting perspective. If Viacom was unhappy with the bonuses paid for the company acquisition, (as has been reported) this certainly sounds like a strategy they might employ.


    On the business side of things, here is an old but interesting article. It touches on a few good points, including the speculative/mania trendlines in the genre and theory on diminishing returns.

    http://performancetrap.org/2009/10/28/decline-of-guitar-hero-and-rock-band/
  • Whizzer191Whizzer191 Road Warrior
    edited August 2010
    Der_Lex;3915941 said:
    The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
    Did you mean to say:
    Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
    or did you just adjust it according to the context?



    Oh and I might be off a slight bit, but I think I've never seen any Rock Band advertising in the Netherlands or anywhere in Europe. Guitar Hero on the other hand. Get on it MTV!
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited August 2010
    Apples;3916261 said:
    Interesting perspective. If Viacom was unhappy with the bonuses paid for the company acquisition, (as has been reported) this certainly sounds like a strategy they might employ.
    Especially if they're going public about their "disappointment" in the numbers like Viacom did.

    Seriously, how else do you account (no pun intended) for a big multimedia mega-conglomerate claiming all their woes and all their worries are because of the revenue stream of one single video game franchise?

    Yes, it's a big franchise, but come on. This is like Microsoft claiming they're going in the red because Halo didn't sell so well.
  • PhisioniPhisioni Opening Act
    edited August 2010
    Microsoft might be, if that was even a possibility. I'm pretty sure Halo: Master Chief Pony Adventures would still sell like hotcakes, though.
  • RealMessiahRealMessiah Road Warrior
    edited August 2010
    Great. They lost less money. They will have a pretty good 3rd/4th qtr I am assuming, but I don't see them ever consistantly going to back to being profitalbe.
  • foofighterfan4Mccainfoofighterfan4Mccain Road Warrior
    edited August 2010
    Doom878;3916059 said:
    I think if the current RB2 menu had the Rock Band Store as the 2nd or 3rd selection and in big red letters, then more people would know about it. And instead of calling it that something like "Get More Music".
    It will say "Get more Music" in Rock Band 3
  • edited August 2010
    FujiSkunk;3916282 said:
    Yes, it's a big franchise, but come on. This is like Microsoft claiming they're going in the red because Halo didn't sell so well.
    Haha, good analogy.
  • whofanwhofan Headliner
    edited August 2010
    RealMessiah;3916355 said:
    Great. They lost less money. They will have a pretty good 3rd/4th qtr I am assuming, but I don't see them ever consistantly going to back to being profitalbe.
    If Rock Band wasn't profitable then RB3 would have been canned a long time ago, instead of money being sunk into it to make it better.
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