Movie Soundtracks Make Comeback

By Robert Marich
  Oct 23, 2012-Movie companies are once again pushing hard to sell soundtrack albums, which went into severe decline over the past decade along with overall revenue of the music industry.
   The rise of digital music downloads again make movie music an attractive licensed merchandise item and music licensing organizations have helped by making more favorable deals with movie producers in recent years. The new wave of soundtrack deals typically calls for royalties to be paid on a sliding scale, which geared payments to performance of the soundtrack. Also, artists lowered fees to producers that promoted artists prominently in soundtrack albums.
  The new James Bond spy adventure film Skyfall has an original song by superstar Adele; the song has the same name as the movie. “Early on Friday morning, Adele released “Skyfall,” the haunting theme song she co-wrote and sang for the new James Bond movie of the same name, and within hours it was in the Top 3 on the iTunes singles chart,” wrote New York Times journalist James C. McKinley Jr.
   Walt Disney’s animated youth film  Wreck-It Ralph may seem an unlikely candidate for a souped up soundtrack, but classically trained Henry Jackman composed original music and Japanese pop music hit maker AKB48 provides “Sugar Rush” to the album. “Sugar Rush” plays over the film’s closing credits.
   For Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, a Sony Music press release notes, “The score was performed by the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Chorus, with solos by a number of the orchestra's distinguished principal players, including concert-master Robert Chen and principal trumpet Christopher Martin.” 20th Century Fox releases the Dreamworks Studio film.
   On Nov. 6, Disney will release an album compilation of movie songs stretching back decades. “NOW That’s What I Call Disney” has vintage favorites such as “When You Wish Upon A Star” from Pinocchio.
   The third edition of Marketing To Moviegoers, which will be published next January, notes that top movie soundtracks sold in the millions of units in the 1990s, but fell to hundreds of thousands in recent years, in line with overall music industry woes. Still, the music is a promotion for the movie and generates some money (even if not as much as a decade ago). Finally, music is produced for the film in any case so it's always available for packaging.

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