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 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 10:14 PM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)


Hi All,

One of the problems labels face is the long production times of soundtrack CDs—especially the more ambitious projects involving lots of music (like television series). They can take months or even years, during which cash is tied up in the project—it's a problem. In fact, at any given time, all of the labels have a great amount of money invested in master restorations, and when titles take a long time to finish due to any number of unforeseen circumstances (missing music, complicated rights, withheld approvals), it can be a huge problem—almost a crippling one, depending on circumstances.

I was wondering: what if labels used Kickstarter, as a way to more or less do pre-sales without them being literally pre-sales?

I asked one of the labels (I won't say which one) and they said they considered it but were concerned about negative reaction from collectors.

So I said, why don't I ask the message board? They said we'd be interested in reading the reaction—so I'm asking.

What would you think?

Lukas

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 10:25 PM   
 By:   Smitty   (Member)

I'd be all for it. There are so many scores I want for older Universal TV series in particular that I would have no problem at all spending a good amount of money upfront.

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 10:25 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

From what I've seen of companies that use Kickstarter on an ongoing basis -- and this is not a scientific survey, just my observation -- people are happy to participate until some intangible line is crossed when the company seems to be abusing the privilege. It feels like people have patience up until about the fourth time they're asked to pre-finance a project that, in success, will benefit somebody else.

I have a feeling -- and I stress, this is just a hunch -- that the soundtrack crowd would likely rally around some magnum opuses, but not most of the more obscure or run-of-the-mill releases. (At least, not in the numbers needed. Everybody has their own personal wants, but there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of overlap.) And the latter might be the exact titles the labels need the help on.

But since I honestly have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll call it quits here.

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 10:28 PM   
 By:   Senn555   (Member)

Bear in mind that Kickstarter/Amazon skims 5% off all funds raised on a project; and that if the project doesn't achieve its set funding goal, then all money raised is refunded to the backers.

IndieGoGo and GoFundMe are other alternatives to Kickstarter worth looking into.

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 10:37 PM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

If it is something I want, I have no problem spending some money upfront and then wait a couple of years to get it...

Treasure of the Templars, anyone?!



...and I would definitely have no problem to pay let's say 100 bucks for a copy of Delerue's SWORD OF GIDEON or re-recordings of some masterpieces such as The Ten Commandments or Diary of Anne Frank - especially since it seems we are never getting full release of Alfred Newman's score.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 10:48 PM   
 By:   catboy19   (Member)

And how do we know that what we pay up for is on your guys' list of kickstart? ...I would pay up for some more Star Trek:TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT music

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 10:52 PM   
 By:   Josh Mitchell   (Member)

Shoot. I can't even afford to buy most of the recently-released soundtrack CDs that I want, much less invest in hopefuls.

As of this moment, the only CD release I would consider funding in advance--since it's my one remaining and most holiest of grails--would be a C&C version of the Rankin/Bass animated version of The Hobbit from 1977 (preferably including a bonus disc featuring the original LP program):

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 10:55 PM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)

Bear in mind that Kickstarter/Amazon skims 5% off all funds raised on a project; and that if the project doesn't achieve its set funding goal, then all money raised is refunded to the backers.

But KS doesn't take that 5% either if it's not met, the only money lost is whatever is spent on the campaign itself.

I've brought up KS before, especially as a way to help rerecordings. But I don't see why they couldn't be used for OSTs either.....of course given the way a lot of people here act who knows how most would feel -- but on the flip side I HAVE seen over the years at least people commenting they would be willing to front quite a bit of money to help get X or Y released, would nice to see if they'd actually do it.

I think the biggest problem would be figuring out what higher tier rewards might be, not to mention stretch goal incentives.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 10:59 PM   
 By:   eggerty31   (Member)

It's an interesting proposal

Firstly
For me it would depend on the title. If a label said we'll give you Georges Delerue's Something Wicked in 2 years if you pay your $20 now then here, take my money.
Which would only to be expected. However if a label said we'll give you Alfred Newman's Certain Smile is 2 years if you pay your $20 now then - eh? what's that? Now, as it turns out A Certain Smile has become a firm favourite of mine but I had never heard of it until the CD came out and I listened to the samples.
So, it would help get more people to take part if samples were given, but then that could only probably occur some way into the whole process.

Secondly
I don't buy every release that comes out. I'm not a blind collector who has to own every Intrada or LLL release.
However I find it difficult enough to keep up and afford the titles I want from the slew of releases we get offered each month. Having to find money to pay for a release (or releases) which I may not see for 2 years on top of what the labels are already releasing would prove difficult. Which kind of brings me back to my first point - that I would only likely consider it for titles which are on my "most wanted" list.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 11:03 PM   
 By:   Traveling Matt   (Member)

I think it could work under certain circumstances - but, if done, should indeed be employed on a case-by-case basis. Ambitious projects and small (1,000 run) projects might benefit the most, but it wouldn't seem wise to turn to Kickstarter for everything.

Additionally, in order for it to work, labels would naturally need to be upfront about their long-term plans in a manner not seen before. And that could be its own can of worms in regards to relationships with the studios and other parties, to say nothing of the collectors if funding doesn't work out.

It's sticky, but it could work under conservative measurement and the right conditions.

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 11:41 PM   
 By:   Wedge   (Member)

My initial post felt too long, so I'll just boil it down to the basics. This is an intriguing concept, and these are some thoughts/questions that occur to me:

1. Would this be a good idea for re-recordings of classic scores, that producers might otherwise be hesitant to take on because of the added costs of prepping manuscripts, contracting an orchestra, etc.?

2. It's worth remembering that Kickstarter has tiers (some limited, depending on the availability of "bonuses") and stretch goals. So, for example, $20 might get you the CD. $30 might get you an autographed copy. $50 gets your name in the booklet. $100 gets you a manuscript page, suitable for framing. $500 let's you pick a bonus track, if it's a rerecording. Pledge $5000 and Lukas Kendall will personally cook you dinner. And so on.

3. There are plenty of CDs out there that may not have sold well, but I'm nonetheless VERY grateful that they at least exist! These slow sellers are somewhat offset by unexpected hits or especially reliable titles. Will that continue to be the case if Kickstarter is the new model, or will producers be more risk-averse?

4. If a title fails to meet its Kickstarter goal, is that title off the table forever? Will any label ever take a risk on a "proven" non-starter? Speaking strictly as a fan and consumer, it would be very frustrating to have a Holy Grail release scuttled because it never garnered that last $500.

5. When calculating the Kickstarter goal amount, how would the labels factor in prospective bulk sales to other dealers? Or people who don't or won't use Kickstarter for various reasons, but who WOULD wind up buying the disc if it were an actual physical product ready to be shipped?

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 12:02 AM   
 By:   The Projectionist   (Member)

Whats Kickstarter?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 12:39 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

A website that enables people to raise funding for projects through Viewers (or in this case, Listeners) Like You.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 1:00 AM   
 By:   Wedge   (Member)

Here's Kickstarter's FAQ page:

http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter%20basics

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 1:24 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

I've already "invested" in a few Kickstarter projects, including one aimed at bringing a cult film to Blu-ray. In my cases, the projects went to completion. I suppose that a Kickstarter campaign for a potential release might allow a label to identify when it is seriously in error about the sales potential of a title (one way or the other). Kickstarter will never make a release more profitable than it otherwise would have been. But perhaps it would allow labels to sidestep a disasterous release, or (less likely) produce more extra copies of one that shows the potential of an early sell-out.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 1:59 AM   
 By:   Tester   (Member)

The problem with people outside USA would be the shipping costs. I rarely make orders with a single score for that reason, so I would probably wait until the actual CD release to buy it combined with others.
Maybe if there was an option to receive a shopping cart code instead of the actual cd (i.e. if intrada did the kickstarter, you go to their shop, enter the code and the CD is added to the shopping cart for 0$)

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 2:14 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

My only concern with using Kickstarter for projects is the following: Knowing the amount you currently sold of Ron Jones' TNG boxset, would you have gone through with the project had it been a kickstarter project?

In other words, say we do the kickstarter funding for certain titles. If there is not enough money raised, does that mean that title is cancelled permanently? I'd hate that to be the case for many fine scores on my shelves. Kickstarter is fine in theory but it requires people who might not buy the score right away to do so and I'm not sure soundtrack collectors are the most hip to a kickstarter project. I personally do not like the premise of paying for something and not being certain I will receive it. I rarely pre-order something unless it's a title I really want and I'm sure there are people who will wait for something to be released and reviewed before buying it. I doubt they would pay in advance.

There is one positive about kickstarter for the consumer and that would be the input of the people who fund it; mabey give feedback on artwork choices, album presentation, ... etc. For the label it's a win-win situation but like I said earlier would it put an end to the philosophy of the big selling titles covering potential losses on smaller titles?

I am a fan of the intrada system where a title goes oop after demand stops and it gives us (I'm sure I'm not alone in this) who aren't in a position to buy everything asap, a breathing room to do so.

So in conclusion, I think in the majority of cases I would not participate and wait for it to be released before deciding on wether I'd want to buy it or not.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 2:26 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

I suspect that there would be few cases where the Kickstarter interest alone would be sufficient to make a title profitable. Therefore, the labels would still need to estimate the sales from those who are waiting on the CD to be available. Given that, it's possible that Kickstarter may produce a lot of "false positives," where those passionately interested in a project would buy-in upfront via Kickstarter, indicating to the label that they should proceed with the project, but few others would purchase the CD after its release.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 2:52 AM   
 By:   Kim Tong   (Member)

Shoot. I can't even afford to buy most of the recently-released soundtrack CDs that I want, much less invest in hopefuls.

I have a feeling -- and I stress, this is just a hunch -- that the soundtrack crowd would likely rally around some magnum opuses, but not most of the more obscure or run-of-the-mill releases. (At least, not in the numbers needed. Everybody has their own personal wants, but there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of overlap.) And the latter might be the exact titles the labels need the help on.


I agree with both of these statements. I am also one that does not buy too many re-releases if I feel the score is well represented on a previous release. The re-releases are becoming a majority of what is being released today. There are also many titles that are being released that I have no interest in, so I would not see myself participating at this time.

Do the labels want to be continued asked when a project is going to be released? "I invested in the project and you said it would take this long and that time is past, where is the release?"

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 3:24 AM   
 By:   Jeyl   (Member)

Some well established companies use Kickstarter to get projects going. The company behind "Pinball Arcade" has had three successful kickstarters all involving the rights to major pinball cabinets. First was "The Twilight Zone", second was "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and the third was "Terminator 2". And yes, if you look up the backers for TNG and T2, you'll see my name in gold!

So if record labels do use kickstarter, I'd be totally down in supporting some of their titles depending on what they're shooting for. Plus there's less risk involved when it comes to licensing since, as I mentioned before with Pinball Arcade, once they reach their goal they have always delivered. If Lala Land or Intrada used Kickstarter, I'd trust them with Kickstarter as I would any other business transaction.

 
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