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The Specialized Soundtrack Market has it changed or stayed the same?

The Specialized Soundtrack Market has it changed or stayed the same?  

13 members have voted

  1. 1. The Specialized Soundtrack Market has it changed or stayed the same?

    • Yes it has changed
      12
    • No it has stayed the same
      2


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 The Specialized Soundtrack Market has it changed or stayed the same? For me it times have change. In 1997 when the RCA Victor Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition 2 CD Releases , The 2000 Superman The Movie Rhino Records 2 CD Release and the 8 Disc Superman The Music 1978-1988 Box Set came out those where the peak of the specialized soundtrack market. Buying CD Soundtracks and expanded soundtracks is not the same now as it was in 1997 most people are streaming or buying their music off of iTunes , Amazon Music , Google Play Music , listening to it via Spotify etc. Sure you have company's and labels like Varèse Sarabande , Intrada Records and La La Land Records who put out these Limited Edition CD Soundtrack Sets but the market for buying CDs has changed. What are your thoughts on this and what is your opinion on this? 

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Obviously, it's very different now in terms of the eternal discussion about physical media vs. streaming etc., but it's more or less the same as the 2000s otherwise. With some adjustments, like a considerable decline in rerecordings, for example. And quite a few more labels.

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Obviously, it's very different now in terms of the eternal discussion about physical media vs. streaming etc., but it's more or less the same as the 2000s otherwise. With some adjustments, like a considerable decline in rerecordings, for example. And quite a few more labels.

Agreed. It is nice that these Specialty labels for Soundtracks like Varèse Sarabande , Intrada Records and La La Land Records are keeping limited edition soundtracks alive and making plus and fans keep buying them.

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My thoughts:

 

I've said it before. For all the scores I love, I truly believe there's something about physically owning a copy that's just so much more than a digital file. I've gone on and on about the lovely additives such as cover art, liner notes, the whole package idea, etc. Granted, just to save the music in case anything should happen to the disc I do copy the files to my hard drive music database. 

 

When it it comes to expanded sets, most of these, if not all,  aren't ever available digitally. They are there to promote physical music sets, and plus they bring top-notch examples of all the lovely extra goodies of which I've already mentioned.

 

In terms of how I buy, I used to do a lot through iTunes, because of the convenience, and while I don't really use Spotify I know that it too is very easy to access and therefore more popular. Now, however, I try to buy physical. I've been making a spreadsheet of every score I'm interested in looking into/owning and I'm sorting them in a priority system, with expansions at the top because of their limited number. 

 

For OSTs, some of them are worth owning. If you love the whole album, get the whole physical album, but if you only want to listen to a few tracks, why would you buy the whole thing? 

 

The digital market is extremely convenient, easy to access, and filled with a variety of genres and artists, but it just isn't the same as a good old physical CD. 

 

And of course, welcome to @kenkraly2004@gmail.com!

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Yes, thank you. I think a good word to use for owning a physical copy of a score you love is the novelty. You can see it, you can touch it, you can put it on your shelf, you can put it in your player, you can show off to your friends, and most importantly you can still listen to it.

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3 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Yes, thank you. I think a good word to use for owning a physical copy of a score you love is the novelty. You can see it, you can touch it, you can put it on your shelf, you can put it in your player, you can show off to your friends, and most importantly you can still listen to it.

Agreed 

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I think soundtrack producer Mike Matessino has done pretty good job in his recent interviews concerning Harry Potter and Superman the Movie (links to these interviews can be found on this site) at chronicling and discussing the change the specialty labels and specialty soundtrack production has gone through from its infancy in the mid-90's when these projects were first starting up through the era of digitization and its effect of music industry on the whole and soundtrack labels specifically. Technologies improving, the learning curve of how to do these things in general from start to finish, acquiring the skills required to do the job and negotiating and intermediating between various parties involved to get these scores released and the plethora of other facets that pertain to the whole business side of things, not just finding the music, the transfer, restoration and preservation of the music itself, which of course is of paramount importance.

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13 minutes ago, dougie said:

 

I suppose they go crazy at the sight of a network streamer?

 

Actually, I have few friends that care as much about music as I do. But yeah, some are very into streamers, and loudspeakers integrated throuhgout their house.

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4 hours ago, Holko said:

The market and target audience may be smaller and more focused, but overall I think we're better off. Now what we have is fantastic labour-of-love releases with incredible attention to detail, from fans to fans, instead of rushed and messy big releases like the SE from corporate entities employing fans at times but not always caring about them enough and following their word to not only fans but whichever Random Joe wants them really, and preferably this latter group because they will be ignorant enough on the matter to see past the flaws the non-care left in.

 

Yeah. We’re waaaay better off these days. The stuff LLL and the others put out is leagues ahead of what was happening 20 years ago.

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Things are always evolving. There was a time when Paramount was completely closed off, but LLL managed to pry their vaults open (with Airplane! leading the charge). Universal similarly was less than accommodating (although a bit more accessible than Paramount - however only to certain labels) but has done a full 180 in recent times, actively driving to have their stuff properly archived, catalogued and released.

 

Now we have Sony Music shutting third parties out so that certain titles may now never be made available (unless something changes). Disney's purchase of Fox could likely have significant ramifications for that studio's properties (still to be determined / clarified). Stalwarts of the industry like Robert Townson have moved on, others like Nick Redman have sadly passed on. Fortunately others continue the fight, too numerous to mention but including Mike Matessino, MV Gerard, Matt Verboys, Doug Fake, Roger Fiegelson, Bruce Kimmel, James Fitzpatrick and many more. 

 

Physical media versus digital continues to invite heated debate, with certain formats declining (and closure of pressing plants putting pressure on lead times) while others curiously re-emerge from obscurity. Titles that likely would have sold out in mere hours / days ten years ago can still be found a year or more after release nowadays. Pressing quantities have declined accordingly. Labels that may have previously released four titles a month have cut back to two or less. Re-issues of previously expanded titles are more commonplace (with sometimes incremental improvements if any). Shipping costs continue to rise and limit available funds for non-US resident purchasers. 

 

Interesting times for a soundtrack collector indeed.

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Of course, a big difference between the mid 2000s and now that I don't particularly like, is that 9 out of 10 releases from the major specialty labels are expansions of perfectly fine soundtracks. The 'premiere release' album is few and far between, probably because a lot of this material was scoured back in the first couple of 'waves'. The death of FSM as a label was also a contributing factor to this, especially in terms of Williams.

 

On the other hand, relatively new labels like Moviescore Media and Caldera are not only continuing the great tradition of presenting listener-friendly, conceptualized albums, but also getting the lesser known material out there. This is a great and necessary supplement to all the Intradas and Vareses and LaLaLands out there.

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50 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

Could you recommend some of their albums?

 

Well, from Caldera I definitely recommend KONGEN AV BASTØY [KING OF DEVIL'S ISLAND] by Johan Söderqvist, not only because I was personally involved in the audio commentary track, but because it's a fantastic score, perfectly presented. Other great ones are VALLEY OF SHADOWS (Preisner), THE ITALIAN KEY (Kantelinen), EARLY WORKS (Korzeniowski), THE WIND GODS (Toprak), POLLYANNA (Gunning).

 

Moviescore Media has such a vast catalogue by now, it's difficult to say where I should begin or stop, but I love these: SUBMARINE, ALLEGED, NUIT BLANCHE, 90 MINUTES, LOST YEARS: A PEOPLE'S STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, IN A BETTER WORLD, EYE OF THE EAGLE: THE FILM MUSIC OF SØREN HYLDGAARD, A ROYAL AFFAIR, THE TALE OF A LAKE, THE TALE OF A FOREST, GAGARIN: FIRST IN SPACE, COLETTE, RECYCLING LILY, THE LITTLE WIZARD, LEGENDS OF CHIMA, ANNE & ALET, STALINGRAD, GRAND PIANO, AUTOMATA, COLISEUM, WE ARE THE FREAKS, TEST, BALLET BOYS, OPERATION ARCTIC, THE CHRISTMAS OF SOLAN & LUDVIG, THE LAST BELLE, BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN, NINA'S CHILDREN, LAMB, MAGNUS, OMA MAA, MICHAEL PALIN IN NORTH KOREA.....

 

But I really have many more to explore. Such a treasure trove.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

Well, from Caldera I definitely recommend KONGEN AV BASTØY [KING OF DEVIL'S ISLAND] by Johan Söderqvist, not only because I was personally involved in the audio commentary track, but because it's a fantastic score, perfectly presented. Other great ones are VALLEY OF SHADOWS (Preisner), THE ITALIAN KEY (Kantelinen), EARLY WORKS (Korzeniowski), THE WIND GODS (Toprak), POLLYANNA (Gunning).

 

Moviescore Media has such a vast catalogue by now, it's difficult to say where I should begin or stop, but I love these: SUBMARINE, ALLEGED, NUIT BLANCHE, 90 MINUTES, LOST YEARS: A PEOPLE'S STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, IN A BETTER WORLD, EYE OF THE EAGLE: THE FILM MUSIC OF SØREN HYLDGAARD, A ROYAL AFFAIR, THE TALE OF A LAKE, THE TALE OF A FOREST, GAGARIN: FIRST IN SPACE, COLETTE, RECYCLING LILY, THE LITTLE WIZARD, LEGENDS OF CHIMA, ANNE & ALET, STALINGRAD, GRAND PIANO, AUTOMATA, COLISEUM, WE ARE THE FREAKS, TEST, BALLET BOYS, OPERATION ARCTIC, THE CHRISTMAS OF SOLAN & LUDVIG, THE LAST BELLE, BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN, NINA'S CHILDREN, LAMB, MAGNUS, OMA MAA, MICHAEL PALIN IN NORTH KOREA.....

 

But I really have many more to explore. Such a treasure trove.

 

 

 

You should make a Spotify playlist with highlights from these labels!

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Well, MM said it has changed since the FSM days, but I don't really get that. I mean, ten years ago, they were expanding, for want of a better word, crap that my generation doesn't even know/care about. Now we're getting Harry Potter and titles/movies people actually know, so how can they be selling less now?

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7 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

Well, MM said it has changed since the FSM days, but I don't really get that. I mean, ten years ago, they were expanding, for want of a better word, crap that my generation doesn't even know/care about.

 

Speak for yourself. FSM was really the only label that unearthed great, lost, completely unreleased treasures to such an extent (Intrada and Varese only did so sporadically in comparison). They are tremendously missed, especially in terms of Williams. I can't think of any label that would release stuff like THE GHOSTBREAKER or NIGHTWATCH today. 

 

If there are lower sales today, I think it has more to do with expansion fatigue (hopefully) or the general decline of physical media.

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You would say that since you consider OSTs enough. Now that we're on the subject, what do you make of the fact that composers, when putting together an OST, are tied to certain things like album length? I mean, we got 40 minutes for ET, but 70-ish for HP1, but only because that was a sign of the times, not because JW decided we only needed 40 minutes from ET.

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1 minute ago, bollemanneke said:

You would say that since you consider OSTs enough. Now that we're on the subject, what do you make of the fact that composers, when putting together an OST, are tied to certain things like album length? I mean, we got 40 minutes for ET, but 70-ish for HP1, but only because that was a sign of the times, not because JW decided we only needed 40 minutes from ET.

 

I'm guessing he might have been allowed to fill an LP if he wanted.

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1 hour ago, bollemanneke said:

You would say that since you consider OSTs enough. Now that we're on the subject, what do you make of the fact that composers, when putting together an OST, are tied to certain things like album length? I mean, we got 40 minutes for ET, but 70-ish for HP1, but only because that was a sign of the times, not because JW decided we only needed 40 minutes from ET.

 

That's a very different discussion, but I think it is (or rather was) a GREAT thing. Medium limits back in the days "forced" the composer to really be succinct in their reconceptualization. Thumbs up!

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The amount of copies yo

9 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

Well, MM said it has changed since the FSM days, but I don't really get that. I mean, ten years ago, they were expanding, for want of a better word, crap that my generation doesn't even know/care about. Now we're getting Harry Potter and titles/movies people actually know, so how can they be selling less now?

 

8 hours ago, Thor said:

 

Speak for yourself. FSM was really the only label that unearthed great, lost, completely unreleased treasures to such an extent (Intrada and Varese only did so sporadically in comparison). They are tremendously missed, especially in terms of Williams. I can't think of any label that would release stuff like THE GHOSTBREAKER or NIGHTWATCH today. 

 

If there are lower sales today, I think it has more to do with expansion fatigue (hopefully) or the general decline of physical media.

Agreed guys that being said however the amount of copies you can sell today for a limited edition expanded releases is different than it was in 1997 and 2000 back then you could sell 15,000 to 20,000 unit copies of a CD Soundtrack Album / Expanded CD Soundtrack Album release. Places like Varèse Sarabande , Intrada Records and La La Land Records now can only sell up to 5,000 unite copies of a Expanded CD Soundtrack Album release. Times had indeed change for selling a CD Soundtrack Album / Expanded CD Soundtrack Album release as MM said in recent podcast interviews. 

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On 3/12/2019 at 4:46 PM, JTWfan77 said:

Physical media versus digital continues to invite heated debate, with certain formats declining (and closure of pressing plants putting pressure on lead times) while others curiously re-emerge from obscurity. Titles that likely would have sold out in mere hours / days ten years ago can still be found a year or more after release nowadays. Pressing quantities have declined accordingly. Labels that may have previously released four titles a month have cut back to two or less. Re-issues of previously expanded titles are more commonplace (with sometimes incremental improvements if any). Shipping costs continue to rise and limit available funds for non-US resident purchasers. 

 

The main reason I've recently spoken out in support of digital is that I see so many inefficiencies in having to arrange pressing CDs with a busy plant, shipping costs and times. You could get the music to the listener in 5 minutes by downloading it.

 

My fear is that the increasing challenges with the physical workflow will one day make the speciality business unworkable or too expensive, when the act of actually restoring the music is a separate thing.

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9 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

The main reason I've recently spoken out in support of digital is that I see so many inefficiencies in having to arrange pressing CDs with a busy plant, shipping costs and times.

 

It creates a lot of jobs!

 

9 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

My fear is that the increasing challenges with the physical workflow will one day make the speciality business unworkable or too expensive, when the act of actually restoring the music is a separate thing.

 

The second wave of hipsters will make sure that CDs live on.

 

@kenkraly2004@gmail.com, you might want to choose something else for your username than your email address. There's a lot of spambots around here...

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I was thinking about a good analogy for the market shifting to digital, yet myself still preferring CDs.

 

It's like how communication has changed. Anybody these days can send you an e-mail (granted even that may be getting dated, so let's stick with text). Anybody these days can send you a text. It's super quick. The spelling and grammar is without any really care. 

 

Now, hardly anybody sends actual letters in the mail anymore, but it shows an extra step(s) of care. Plus, it means a lot more because a) people don't really do that anymore because it is more involved, and b) because there is an alternative that is easier yet less meaningful, and they decided to go with a physical letter instead.

 

Now replace texts/e-mails and letters with digital music and CDs.

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^^

Well being in a country with a reliable postal service does help.

 

As much as I'm a Gen X'er that appreciates physical media and all the advantages it offers, I'm at a point where if it were possible (which I know it is not), I'd be perfectly happy to purchase my soundtrack expansions digitally.

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9 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

It creates a lot of jobs!

 

 

The second wave of hipsters will make sure that CDs live on.

 

@kenkraly2004@gmail.com, you might want to choose something else for your username than your email address. There's a lot of spambots around here...

Changed it just now. Thanks for the tip @Jurassic Shark

7 hours ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

I was thinking about a good analogy for the market shifting to digital, yet myself still preferring CDs.

 

It's like how communication has changed. Anybody these days can send you an e-mail (granted even that may be getting dated, so let's stick with text). Anybody these days can send you a text. It's super quick. The spelling and grammar is without any really care. 

 

Now, hardly anybody sends actual letters in the mail anymore, but it shows an extra step(s) of care. Plus, it means a lot more because a) people don't really do that anymore because it is more involved, and b) because there is an alternative that is easier yet less meaningful, and they decided to go with a physical letter instead.

 

Now replace texts/e-mails and letters with digital music and CDs.

 

4 hours ago, JTWfan77 said:

^^

Well being in a country with a reliable postal service does help.

 

As much as I'm a Gen X'er that appreciates physical media and all the advantages it offers, I'm at a point where if it were possible (which I know it is not), I'd be perfectly happy to purchase my soundtrack expansions digitally.

Great points guys I always prefer physical media CDs , DVDs , Blu-Ray Discs and 4K UHD Blu-Ray Discs over Digital Downloads any day. I will always buy my soundtrack OST or Expanded Soundtrack Album on CDs. 

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