The Rolling Stones have always been best-sellers, but this past month has seen their sales spike. It seems that when Call of Duty: Black Ops was released to mass acclaim on November 9th, it dragged the aging rockers up with it.
First, there was the launch trailer, launched to an adoring public on October 31st, and featuring the Stones’ Gimme Shelter as the soundtrack behind cut scenes and gameplay footage.
The story behind the track’s inclusion in the trailer is an interesting one – it’s fairly traditional for the owner of the music rights to view an early edit of any project their song will be used in. Today, this is often done online, with no drama. However, this time, ABKCO Music & Records asked to see the video in person, to avoid any copies being leaked online and snapped up by rabid games enthusiasts. So – LA-based Activision reps hopped on a plane with a very precious, very secure laptop and flew across to New York to show off what they’d been working on.
That was a bit of a big deal for Activision, but not quite as big as the fact that – for the first time in their history – the company allowed another agency to make changes to the ad itself, to ensure the approval of the various band members.
Eventually, obviously, the soundbite was approved, and the launch trailer went on to garner more than 3 million views on YouTube, along with countless comments from clueless gamers asking what the name of the song is.
That’s an awful lot of people who suddenly find themselves with Mick Jagger in their headphones – and, from the sounds of things, a lot of those people thought it was a bit of all right.
During the week ending October 31, Gimme Shelter sold slightly more than 2,000 copies.
A week later, after the trailer’s release, the song sold more than 5,000.
The week after that, which included the game’s launch: Nearly 11,000 copies of Gimme Shelter were sold, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
Sympathy For The Devil is also included in an in-game scene, and its sales nearly doubled to 5,000 copies in the week ending 14th November.
So there you go – if you’re in a band, and you want a bit of a boost, get your song included in a video game trailer. Particularly one that’s this eagerly anticipated. Trust me, it works.