Music and Movies – Give Away the Soundtrack

This week the Soundtrack to Juno bounded to number one on the charts. A measly 65k units is all it took. Not great for a #1, but these days, its a great total for any theatrical soundtrack. Which raises a question. If a best selling soundtrack sells about 100k units, and 99pct of the rest sell under 10k units, is selling a soundtrack the best use of the music ?

I think not. Whether sold digitally or by CD, the reality of today’s music and theatrical release market is such that music from movies would generate more total dollars for everyone if it were given away with the purchase of a movie ticket.

To release a major motion picture theatrically these days costs a lot of money. Not only does it cost a lot of marketing dollars to release a movie, not a single movie company in this country has any idea which money that it spends really drives people to theaters. Thats a problem. So where does music fit in ?

One way to entice people to get off the couch and attend more movies is to increase the value to customers. The most cost effective opportunity to increase value is to give away items to theater goers that have a very high perceived value, but a very lost cost of distribution.

Enter music.

How many people are going to rush out and buy the Soundtrack to the new Rambo movie ? But riddle me this. How many more people would go to the movie if they knew that their movie ticket stub had a code to unlock a free download of the movie’s soundtrack ? Or if they bought a ticket online in advance of the release, they could download the soundtrack right from the online ticket site ?

Talk about a possible win win. Music publishers would make far more money getting paid a lump sump or for every song downloaded by ticket buyers than they would from sales of the soundtrack. The total cost per song to the studios would be a fraction of their marketing budgets and probably only in the thousands of dollars. The incentive to consumers to buy movie tickets, lets just say it would certainly be more than without the music.

And there is no reason to stop there. Why not offer downloads of the script to people who have already seen the movie (meaning the download of the script would start a couple months after the movie was released). It could be for free with a ticket stub code, or could be sold for a couple bucks per download without. Again, its just more value to the consumer, without much cost to the studio.

Bottomline, is that anything that can be delivered digitally as a download could be bundled into the value of a movie ticket and delivered from the ticketing site, the studio or from the theater’s website. The cost to deliver a song, script or even video (like what you might find as extras on a dvd) digitally is nominal relative to the marketing investment required to get people to the theater.

Why not ?

60 thoughts on “Music and Movies – Give Away the Soundtrack

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    Comment by sohbet -

  2. Though I understand Marks argument, I have to say I don\’t believe offering free soundtracks would have an impact on ticket sales. And further more, I\’m not sure how this impact, if any, would be measurable using this marketing strategy. Obviously something necessary to determine whether the campaign was successful.

    With that said, I have a few ideas I\’d like to float, but first we need to look at the target audiences for movies:

    1. 1st Run Movie Goers (those who see a movie when it first hits theaters)

    2. 2nd Run Movie Goers (those who wait for lower ticket prices and/or potentially less crowded theaters)

    3. Renters (those who rent from Netflix, Blockbuster, Family Video, Pay-Per-View, etc.)

    4. Buyers (those who buy a movie without having previously seen it)

    5. Pirates (those who pirate the movie through news groups, shareware, burning rented or borrowed DVDs, torrent sites, etc.)

    Working backwards, I think we can all agree that Pirates have no intention of paying for a movie regardless of your incentive to see it in theaters.

    As for Buyers, you would be better off providing a coupon for the soundtrack with their DVD purchase. This would be measurable and has the potential to boost soundtrack sales, which was the problem needing solving in the first place.

    For renters, these consumers either lack the time to see a movie in theaters, the desire to pay high ticket prices, prefer a less crowded experience, or are actually deterred by the audience within the theater. The best ways to increase ticket sales here (and in general) would be to:

    A. Reduce prices on tickets/food (a few weeks ago I took my girlfriend to the movie theater and ended up paying more for two tickets, two drinks and a large popcorn than I did at the sit down restaurant we had dinner at…where I had a t-bone steak by the way!)

    B. Capping the age limit on specific theaters might help increase ticket sales. For instance, a movie has two showings at Cinemark. One for people under 21 and the other for those over 21. One of my personal gripes is sitting next to high school kids lacking the maturity to keep quiet during a movie. Problem solved with an over 21 theater.

    With 1st and 2nd Run Movie Goers, I see two viable options:

    1. Again, offer a coupon for the soundtrack to increase music sales or

    2. Use a tie-in promotion to advertise a company outside of the movie, thereby reducing obsessive product placement. In other words, give ticket buyers a way to download the soundtrack at half price on Coca-Cola\’s website to increase soundtrack sales, while simultaneously reducing packaging and marketing costs (since the deal forces Coca-Cola to pay royalties on every download and this method of transfer has no packaging).

    Just a few ideas to increase ticket and soundtrack sales. However, the only way to truly know what works is through testing and measurement.

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    Comment by Jerry Cropper -

  6. Informative Article… AWESOME.

    Comment by Eliseo -

  7. Very interesting idea! I love how you\’re always thinking outside of the box. Check out this movie that a mentor of mine will be releasing. If you think it makes sense for a movie like that, I\’ll pass along the suggestion: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1104733/

    Comment by Rozhetskin fan -

  8. Your first battle would be getting people to the movie theaters. Numbers show with all the alternative options sales are down. The idea is good but could be delivered in a number of different ways. On the ticket, on the food and drink items(Disc on top of the soda, pull tabs on the popcorn), or possibly reverse it and have music sales give movie tickets(buy the CD and get a percentage off the ticket). Regardless the goal should be to get people in make it more of an experience. Ticket stubs that can give away promotional movie gear(posters, shirts). Don\’t just tie music to the tickets you have movies where cars are introduced for the first time, I forget the movie but an example would be the \”mini\” you could use the ticket stub to go on to the site and possibly win the car. This increases customer data and recognition by the company as well as movie sales. There are plenty of ways to combine movies with sales of anything for that matter!

    Comment by Grant Horejsi -

  9. I guess this is another \’free + alpha\’ issue that is recently praised as the way to go. I agree they work, but not always. See my recent blog post at http://hyokon.blogspot.com/2008/02/in-addition-to-free-part-1-free-is-not.html.

    Comment by hyokon -

  10. Have to agree with John Rich it\’s an excellent way to induce and generate new traffic to your site. Nice bit of marketing.

    Comment by haven -

  11. Mark, I like your idea! Just add a dollar with the price of the ticket and the moviegoer gets the soundtrack and the problem is solved! Then everybody should be happy!

    Comment by Wild Wille in Denton -

  12. Mark, I agree with a lot of your ideas and commend you for always thinking outside the box. However, this time around, I don\’t agree.

    Quite simply, my decision to see a movie and give up a couple of hours of my life solely rests with the quality of the movie and marketing behind it. If a movie doesn\’t pass the test, a soundtrack or script won\’t make any difference.

    Take your Rambo example. I have no plans to see the movie, so the soundtrack/script etc. won\’t change my mind.

    On the other hand, if I have made the decision to see a movie and, in fact, the movies turns out to be a good one, I\’m more likely to buy the soundtrack or tracks from it.

    Bottom line: Your idea would lose money for the studios because it would only serve to lose them revenue on something I\’d consider buying, while failing to enticing me to the theater for a movie I\’m not considering watching.

    Regards,
    George

    Comment by AGORACOM -

  13. I like the idea and I think anything that generates interest in going to the movies is worth trying by the studios.

    I personally think the studios should look to their history and re-try some ideas from the past. How about a double-feature for the price of the ticket! Wow what a novel idea. There are plenty of \”B\” movies around to show as the 2nd movie. Or use older movies in the studio catalog to entice younger audiences to the movies. Let\’s see some of the old great movies from 1940-1980 on the big screen again.

    Comment by Terry -

  14. I wonder why a live recording or video of a concert can\’t be included in the price of a $200 concert ticket.

    Comment by Jim Letourneau -

  15. I don\’t think the idea would actually happen, but I do think it\’s a marketing idea long overdue. I don\’t have statistics to back this up…but my impression is that most soundtracks don\’t really do as well as albums, and probably not as well as DVD\’s either for that matter. Why not include it and see if it affects the sales? To me it\’s kind of a no-brainer…an easy two-for-one.

    Comment by Jermaine Fanfair -

  16. BlogMaverick readers, check out my blog on the article I did about Mark Cuban in MyMidwest magazine, the in-flight magazine for Midwest Airlines.

    http://jlouiselarson.blogspot.com/

    Also — might check out:
    http://familyrootsandwings.blogspot.com/2008/02/giants-fans-should-register-at-macys.html

    Comment by J. Louise Larson -

  17. Great idea Mark! Giving consumers a \”rebate\” in the movie business could drive more ticket sales.

    Comment by Greg Calloway -

  18. Mark,
    Great concept except for one main problem. The movie companies do not release the soundtracks, once again it all comes back to record labels.

    Labels fight to get bands in to movies, licensing is really tough to get especially in a major film, or dare to dream the televised trailers. Some labels get paid for their bands, some labels pay to get their bands on. The label putting out the soundtrack takes a gamble with it because the marketing costs to them are kept low due to the millions the movie company spends promoting the movie. Soundtracks are a cheap after thought they hope to sell to recoup money from other artists that fail. Normally they can get kickbacks from other labels trying to get their new baby band noticed, or sometimes they use it as a launching point for an artist like Evanescence got noticed for Daredevil.

    If it were distributed for free, you could do download cards and individual codes, but there is a cost to that. Additionally the artists and labels need to get paid certain royalties, main ones being mechanicals and publishing.

    The label putting this out will never take that hit because it doesn\’t promote their artists enough (typically) and depending on the amount of free giveaways, say for a #1 Box office hit, would amount to millions of dollars.

    At the end of the day this is a business and its an opportunity for the movie company to maybe make a little extra money and get extra marketing, and its pretty much free money to the labels.

    Comment by Andrew S -

  19. Interesting idea, though, just as others have said, the codes would be stolen within minutes of the movie release. I love the idea of a reward based system, where you collect the \”bucks\” and use them to purchase marketing based items. I have been to several local movie premiers in the DFW area and \”free\” definitely brings them in. I have heard several people mention that they go overboard on the concessions just because they got a free poster or something. This has to benefit the theaters, so imagine what a free download or perk could bring to the industry.

    Love reading your ideas…keep \’em coming!

    Comment by Shannon Ford -

  20. I think it is a great idea! I am a regular moviegoer (and music lover) and with the ever-increasing cost of attending movies they will need to do something to provide more value. Something like you are suggesting would enhance the value and keep me interested (vs. investing in a home entertainment system).

    Comment by greg cantrell -

  21. What those whom are stating that…

    \”I don\’t go to the movies anyway so this isn\’t an incentive for me (at all)\”

    Are forgetting is that…

    YOU are not the ones who I would care about anyway.

    Know this…

    Those who still purchase music are still going to purchase it.

    Those who download it without paying for it are going to do so.

    So…

    Those who still go to the movies (I am one of them)… are STILL going to go to the movies – whether a free soundtrack is offered or not.

    THOSE are the people you would care about…

    Not those of you whom watch movies on your HD-DVD player and plasma screens.

    As someone whom works in the music industry… this is a great idea.

    If I could obtain a free soundtrack with my ticket purchase, well hey, I am going to see anything free as a good thing.

    To you Netflix only touting responders…

    This is not for you.

    But \”Alvin and the Chipmunks\” is at over 200 million this week.

    The free soundtrack would be for them. If they want it… cool.

    If not… cool.

    It is not an incentive for those of you who do not go to the movies…

    It is an incentive for those (of us) whom still do.

    And THAT… is what those of you whom do not (go to the movies any longer)… are failing to realize.

    Comment by Anonymous -

  22. Honestly, I don\’t see a real problem with attendance at movie theaters. Most of the time when a good quality movie or an \”event\” movie comes out, then people will go and see it.

    Perception is movie theaters are not filling up. Reality is theaters have increased in size and have multiple screens showing the same feature. Years ago you had more sold out shows because seats and showtimes were limited. That created its own buzz, and you had more blockbusters because of it.

    Now studios use a blitzkrieg strategy where they load their flick on 4000 screens and significantly decrease each week. There is no such thing a slow building hit anymore.

    And the theater owners either try to accommodate these requests by going larger and larger, or by creating a niche market – Imax, dinner theaters, etc. All the customer really wants is to escape reality for a couple of hours in an enjoyable environment.

    Re: music

    Offering downloads on soundtracks will not increase business, because no one really wants it. How many soundtracks have been massive hits? Two – The Bodyguard and Saturday Night Fever.

    Offering a soundtrack for free is something you throw in with a DVD. An extra disc that someone might listen to once, and if it sucks then its used as a coaster.

    T-shirts, posters, hats are more useful and are better marketing tools imho.

    I just think people are agreeing with you in hopes of you looking at their brilliant idea and offering them their dream job.

    d

    Comment by dan -

  23. Start \”Cuban Records\” and work it.

    Comment by Steve -

  24. I even stopped renting movies , because now in the internet there are many places where you can legally buy a movie for a price that will be even cheaper than a rental price. like at http://www.freshmovies.org A movie may cost up to just 5$ for a DVD quality. Then u may just burn and store. So why even rent? The industry defenately needs a kick in the balls just as one of the previous comments said.

    Comment by Voitenko -

  25. Hey Marc, i am dying to hear your thoughts on the msft/yhoo deal.

    Comment by mexicanfromthepast -

  26. An Open Letter to the Movie Moguls

    It is too bad you movie moguls lose money every time someone illegally downloads a movie. Wow. I realize that it costs you a freakin\’ fortune, especially considering that millions and millions and MILLIONS of movies are illegaly downloaded every year, and that you are NEVER PAID for these losses. It is also a shame that Tom Cruise will make only $362 million this year instead of $425 million, all because of illegal downloading. (Who will cry for the Scientologists?) Once in awhile when I see one of your commercials, I actually feel bad about it.

    Then I think about that incompetent design engineer you hired to design the cases for your DVD movies. This guy wasn\’t smart enough to devise a way for consumers to slide their fingers under the DVD and pluck it easily from the case (although my seven year old grandaughter could have designed it).

    No, we must first get the wrapping off (30 minutes with a sharp instrument). Then we must remove the sealing tape from around three edges of the DVD case. Not one, not two, count \’em –THREE edges! What\’s the matter, afraid someone\’s going to steal the Goddamned thing?

    Finally, we have to try to pry the disk out of the ridiculous case, bending the entire assembly into shapes for which it was never designed. (\”Designed?\” Sorry, poor choice of word.) Still, it is almost impossible to get our fingers under the disk to remove it. Great work, lads. (That was sarcasm. You\’ve probably run across it in some old movies.)

    Here\’s a suggestion:

    Shouldn\’t you hide something with razor sharp edges under the DVD to slice up our fingertips as we try to remove the desk from the case? That would be consistent with your design theories, plus it would further punish the people who buy your movies, since you cannot punish the people who steal them.

    Once we finally have the thing out of the package and in our players, we are forced to watch many, many minutes of your whining about people taking food off your tables (and Bentleys out of your garages) by illegally downloading movies.

    You know, I think about you movie moguls a lot. I think about how many people are ripping you off. Wow. Night and day. Day and night. All day long. Every day of the year. Those losses must REALLY ADD UP!

    It\’s like a horrible vision of some huge money pump relentlessly flushing YOUR dollars (millions and millions of them!) right into the sewer. Like a nightmare, really. So MUCH money! Awww, man!

    During these times, I also think about your DVD packaging, and you know what? Fuck off.

    T.

    ———————————
    Ted A. Thompson
    http://phfft.blogspot.com

    Comment by tedthompson -

  27. Plus this would drive traffic to the ticket website where you could sell advertising

    Comment by John Rich -

  28. Wish you and Magnolia would\’ve tried this with The Great World of Sound — that movie was waaaay to fantastic to get the kind of gross that it did….or didn\’t.

    Comment by Todd -

  29. Here in Austin we have Entertainment Weekly\’s #1 movie theater in America called Alamo Drafthouse. I think the experience of the movie theater isn\’t what it once was. As people have stated, there are more advanced home theaters than ever before. The Alamo Drafthouse is an experience…it\’s a Drive-In without the crackling window mounted speaker. It\’s a restaurant with an excellent menu, great drinks on tap and great movies to choose from.

    http://www.sedasayan.net
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    My point isn\’t to gush over The Drafthouse. My point is that this is a movie experience you can\’t get at home. It is something that is more than just watching a movie…we actually get excited to get out of the house and have dinner & a movie (at the same time). The extra content seems like a great idea but at the same time it seems a bit gimmicky.

    Unless the soundtrack has original content (Bodyguard, Lion King, Titanic, Men In Black, etc) then it is essentially just a compilation or greatest hits album. I could spend a few minutes compiling them myself through itunes if I wanted. The Juno soundtrack, for example, seems to want to promote some new or underground artists. For an indie band wanting to launch its career from a soundtrack, the downloadable content makes a little more sense. The other hope from the movie company is that you go and see a movie (or rent one for that matter) they have your money, and then afterwards you might be willing to shell out some additional cash for a CD with some tunes you heard in the movie. How many people went out and bought the Top Gun Soundtrack after hearing \”Take My Breath Away\” in the movie

    Comment by Sedat -

  30. Why not take things a step further and pre-sell DVD copies (or even better downloaded copies) of the movie with a theatre ticket.

    I would even be happy if they packed the soundtrack (download code preferred) with a DVD purchase.

    Comment by HockeyNutz -

  31. Another way to devalue music in the eye of the consumer…great.

    Comment by d -

  32. I like the idea.

    I think it\’d work best as a limited offer. Some soundtracks aren\’t at all interesting and will have little interest beyond afficiandos. Others are probably mega-sellers in their own right and can stand or fall on Amazon and in music stores. But in the middle ground there are a lot that could benefit.

    In the UK, a newspaper gave away the most recent Prince album free with the paper last summer. Prince was playing a series of concerts, and the newspaper paid him far more money for that one-off right to give away the album than he\’d have earnt from a normal release. Loads more people heard his music, and of course, he had a very successful series of concerts in London.

    Fast food chains, and others use limited time offers, and that\’s the way I\’d do it – as a marketing method.

    It\’s interesting that scripts get a mention. I notice that this awards season, all the For Your Consideration sites have PDF downloads of all the big film scripts available to all!

    I\’ve linked to a few from them from here: http://www.adambowie.com/weblog/archive/002307.html

    Worth it for the Juno script alone!

    Comment by Adam Bowie -

  33. Mark, The concept is sound. It is very attainable and may give a shot in the arm to an ailing industry. I don\’t currently go to the movies, I have an atmosphere at home that is perfect to watch movies. I would not be the target market, but the target market is out there. Kids still flock together and go to the movies. A family night out might include a trip to the movies.
    Before Christmas Starbucks was giving away music, one code is one song on iTunes. It was simple, free and no one (to my limited knowledge) posted a crack code on the Net (Internet). The concept of adding value to a movie ticket is brilliant, but sometimes they just want to remember the event (of going to the movies with…). How about including the movie poster (sized to regular paper) to print from a code on the back of the ticket. Some old movie posters are worth money now. Paired with the hit song of the movie would not only add value but make the movie experience live on.
    Just a thought.

    Comment by Chuck Breece -

  34. It would take a lot more than a free soundtrack to make me see Rambo.

    Comment by Joe -

  35. The way I see it is that the mp3 version will be given away, in the near future, under limited license. This gets the music out there, and frees the information. The CD will be released subsequent to this, and that will STILL make money, maybe even more money, because there are STILL people who appreciate the sound quality of CD. Just my view… Mark

    Comment by Mark Sandcones -

  36. Being that soundtracks aren\’t selling well, I see the point that it is a way to leverage a fairly worthless product to get a few more people into theaters. However I don\’t believe it would have a noticeable affect

    Comment by Ses Kayt -

  37. This is an intriguing idea and could be huge for the artists involved..in this day and age, it\’s all about exposure and I for one, would forgo immediate remuneration for the opportunity to get \”the word\” out.

    ..btw Mark, I wouldn\’t be averse to offering one of my catchy, beatlesesque tracks for an upcoming Magnolia film..I mean, you have the means to make this great concept fly..can you imagine the press afterwards?..

    Interviewer: So, let me get this straight..You mentioned your music in response to one of Mark Cuban\’s posts on his blog..he gave a listen and found a place for one of your tracks..a track which is now lodged in what seems like the collective conscious.

    Me: uh huh..

    Priceless…….

    Comment by jono -

  38. Now this is why I subscribe to your blog. Fresh, creative and innovative ideas. Good onya Mark! This would world great.

    Comment by Monte Huebsch -

  39. The soundtrack for Joe Swanberg\’s LOL is available for download (free) from the Benten Films web site.

    http://www.bentenfilms.com/

    Comment by Scott Johnson -

  40. In a country of 300 million, the average soundtrack sells less than 10k copies. You can interpret this as soundtracks are overpriced (pick any measure, cash/time whatever). But I don\’t think it\’s just price. It\’s not clear the general public values soundtracks (to Rambo or otherwise) as having value at even at zero dollars.

    I suppose it comes down to, for how many jane consumers does the value from a free motion picture soundtrack even exceed the cost in time to listen to it?

    Good times.

    Comment by Al chang -

  41. Your idea is good. However the typical film-making decision makers are rarely, if ever, even smart enough to include the soundtrack with the DVD release (even with plenty of room to spare on a second \”extra\” DVD). Given the avoidance of this effortless distribution, nothing makes me think your idea would ever happen.

    Comment by Michael O -

  42. Mark,

    Love the idea about the soundtrack and other things for the give away. The problem lies with the funding of the things you intend to give away as extras. Movies are not cheap, neither is recording, mixing and getting the music into the hands of the producer of the film. I really like all the people who \”claim\” that media should be fixed or revamped or free or whatever….obviously these people sit in cubicles and have no idea of the media \”business\”.

    Once something has a Zero value to the consumer its a race to the bottom. We\’re already seeing it and hearing it with the acceptance of MP3 as the industry standard for audible delivery. Whats next….accepting shit home video as the standard for feature film? Ooops…I\’m sorry…I did see Cloverfield! Its already begun…the youtube generation has spoken and accepted mediocrity as the standard for the future of media and entertainment.

    How Boring!

    Comment by david geertz -

  43. Interesting idea, but it wouldn\’t get me or most of my friends into any more movies than we currently attend (I believe we represent a pretty decent cross-section of the mainstream movie-goers that this move would attempt to cater to). Being that soundtracks aren\’t selling well, I see the point that it is a way to leverage a fairly worthless product to get a few more people into theaters. However I don\’t believe it would have a noticeable affect. If the soundtracks can\’t sell well on their own merit, I doubt it is going to entice somebody to get off their ass, and spend $15 to see a movie that they probably have little interest in anyway. Just because you like Drowning Pool, doesn\’t mean you have any interest whatsoever in seeing Rambo.

    Comment by Dan -

  44. Playing devil\’s advocate:

    Because if it\’s DRM-free, then everyone will get their mitts on it as soon as it hits the web, whether they buy a ticket or not. For this to work, you would have to protect it somehow.

    In some ways, this is almost the REVERSE of where things are going: Give it away on the web, then charge to get in the show (or screening in this case).

    But you\’re definitely on to something. Bundle it together some way, leveraging the pre-existing marketing effort to drive people to the theaters.

    Comment by Mike -

  45. Soundtracks often served as a way to get a \’greatest hits\’ album with a fresh version of one or two of your favorite songs. Aren\’t most soundtracks just a nostalgia \’mix\’? On that basis, these albums aren\’t much of an attraction, indeed, not enough to launch (budget for) a \’coded\’ offer via the ticket stub. If anything, the soundtrack appeals to someone who likes the musical groups on the tracks. So maybe, the best hook-up is buyers of the soundtrack can obtain free/cheap downloads of other music by those same artists, and maybe a coupon for HDNet.

    Comment by thomason -

  46. You are a genius. Don\’t mind the naysayers. There are still people who don\’t own computers. There are still people-like me-who like to see a good movie in the movie theatre-esp if it has a good soundtrack. Free is the greatest word in the english language. I say go for it. I would love to be able to just have the script and the soundtrack maybe even before I see the movie. Then I would know what is coming and appreciate the delivery without concentrating on what they are saying. It is all about appreciating the details. Alot of people don\’t. But for the people who do-the people who know what is good and influence the people who don\’t-it could make a difference.

    Comment by Noella Fay -

  47. Great idea, agree. The music and movie industries need kicked in the balls. New value adds, delivery & marketing methods…new, or improved business models…

    Comment by Nathan -

  48. good idea for giving a boost/incentive to see a movie at the box office instead of waiting for dvd/download/tv-ondemand (which is easier now that theater to home video windows are shrinking).
    another outside the box idea, related to movie theaters, the nba, and audiences:
    put mavericks games on one screen in every city\’s landmark theatre — live in HD — when the mavs play against each city\’s local team, or better yet, playoff games of local teams with landmark theatres in their city. advertise the initial simulcast as a groundbreaking nba/sporting event during the ad time before every movie in landmark theatres for weeks in advance. see what happens. work out how to split revenue with the nba and tv networks and the theatre, and you\’ve got a new window/promotion for your team and the nba.

    i wonder how many people would go to a landmark theatre to see the nba allstar game this year in HD on the big screen. based on a random sampling — how most of us need to perform a jedi mind trick just to look away when checking out the biggest HD screens at best buy — i\’d guess theaters would be sold out, as long as promotion was solid.

    the new york metropolitan opera may be onto something:
    http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/broadcast/hd_events.aspx

    Comment by db -

  49. Add value, increase margin.

    How much revenue comes from sound tracks compared to the box office or rentals? Probably less than 1%, but add the sound track for free and charge an extra 5% to the ticket price. $10 to $10.50 won\’t stop me from going to a movie.

    Comment by Kyle -

  50. Several things here.

    1. Price is the only reason I don\’t go to the theaters. Last week we were out shopping and rather than go to see a movie in the same parking lot, we rented 5 movies. 5 movies for $20 for 5 days or 1 movie for 3 kids and 2 adults at $36. Easy choice. Even if you had the soundtrack there.

    2. The best invention yet is the CC purchase kiosk on the wall. For those of you who don\’t know, it is that screen on the wall with no line right next to the line of 100 people waiting to buy tickets from the box office booth.

    3. Don\’t give away the soundtrack, just make it easily available at a discounted price. Either on Fandango, or via kiosk at the theater. Of course this is strangely familiar to the electronic download kiosks at B&N or Borders that I\’m still waiting for. But the key is \”EASY TO OBTAIN\”. People will pay for what is easy, don\’t give it to them free.

    4. 2 years ago one of your posts asked for product suggestions. I suggested a hard drive in the car to pause and record live radio. Plus a jack for ipods/pda/mp3\’s, and sync jack to load my home music. You blew the idea off saying that you just record/download the podcasts on your PC then put them on your mobile unit. Check out the commercials for new cars lately? 1 sale to 1 manufacturer and it\’d be golden.

    Comment by Pat Crofoot -

  51. Here in Austin we have Entertainment Weekly\’s #1 movie theater in America called Alamo Drafthouse. I think the experience of the movie theater isn\’t what it once was. As people have stated, there are more advanced home theaters than ever before. The Alamo Drafthouse is an experience…it\’s a Drive-In without the crackling window mounted speaker. It\’s a restaurant with an excellent menu, great drinks on tap and great movies to choose from.

    http://www.drafthouse.com/

    My point isn\’t to gush over The Drafthouse. My point is that this is a movie experience you can\’t get at home. It is something that is more than just watching a movie…we actually get excited to get out of the house and have dinner & a movie (at the same time). The extra content seems like a great idea but at the same time it seems a bit gimmicky.

    Unless the soundtrack has original content (Bodyguard, Lion King, Titanic, Men In Black, etc) then it is essentially just a compilation or greatest hits album. I could spend a few minutes compiling them myself through itunes if I wanted. The Juno soundtrack, for example, seems to want to promote some new or underground artists. For an indie band wanting to launch its career from a soundtrack, the downloadable content makes a little more sense. The other hope from the movie company is that you go and see a movie (or rent one for that matter) they have your money, and then afterwards you might be willing to shell out some additional cash for a CD with some tunes you heard in the movie. How many people went out and bought the Top Gun Soundtrack after hearing \”Take My Breath Away\” in the movie.

    Comment by Caleb -

  52. How about giving the movie away on DVD or digital download with your ticket, that would counter the Netflix arguement?

    You could use the customers credit card number as the unlock code, that would discourage it being passed around…

    Comment by John Wall -

  53. \”But Wait, There\’s More!\”

    Giving away a premium is a great idea and the distribution cost of near zero is even better.

    It must work. It has been proven for years at product demonstrations at fairs and mail order tv commercials. Price doesn\’t seem as high when you get extras.

    Comment by Mike Dunn -

  54. I think it\’s a great idea, but as the one poster said, if it\’s available online, tons of people will just download it for free somehow and never bother to go to the movies.

    The problem with the movies are many of the theatres aren\’t that clean, are kind of rowdy at times or just plain empty and depressing. That and half the movie theaters aren\’t up to par with the latest and greatest technologies. And then you realize the fact that a lot of people have 50+ inch HD Tv screens, surround sound audio systems, and so on and the theater is just not as attractive as it once sounded.

    The idea of a free download is nice, but people will find a way to steal it without ever going to the movies. I\’d say they need to push the IMAX kind of experience. Or maybe make some other kind of movie experience. Make it some kind of event like it used to be. There are too many other options these days and sometimes things need to evolve and change. Most people don\’t go to the movies just to go to the movies anymore.

    The old drive thru movies were events. It was more about hanging out, hooking up, and so on compared to having to see some movie. if the movie was great, great, if not, at least you had fun or hoped to have fun. I missed most of the drive thru era as it was before my time. But I caught the tail end of a few of them and knew a lot of older kids back in the day who spent time there. It was more than just the movies.

    I also heard from parents and relatives who loved the drive thru movie theaters. I remember going to see The Thing, Tron, and some other cartoon like movie all in one night. It was an event. Yeah i was only a kid, but I remember that event and those movies more than I remember going to see Rambo. It was an experience as well as a chance to watch movies.

    I heard from grand parents and others that the movies were some kind of event back in their day. It wasn\’t just a movie. It was a night out, a day out, or a local gathering event. Again, it was an experience.

    With most things today, it\’s wham bam thank you maam and move on to the next event. So why would a lot of people care to go to a movie theater if they have huge HD tvs or have friends who have huge HD TVS that are more impressive and have a better picture quality then many theaters? Unless they start making it a memorable event, the theater will continue to lose it\’s appeal.

    Comment by PJAM3 -

  55. Fan appreciation days for movie go-ers. Sounds like a great idea. How does this model workout beyond the first weekend though?

    Comment by Mufaka -

  56. How about going the McDonalds Monopoly Game route – give each moviegoer a scratch-off slip where they have a very small chance to win a million bucks, and then if you don\’t win the grand prize you still get some downloadable consolation prize such as soundtrack downloads, ringtones, wallpapers, and so forth.

    Seems to work for Mickey D\’s, as it seems folks flock there during the Monopoly game. Maybe have a collect-and-win feature for movies from the same studio (Warner Bros. Bucks) or something like that? Cross-promote movies that way?

    Comment by Brad -

  57. Why not? FEAR

    Comment by proales -

  58. Mark,

    I think this is a good idea. I personally never go to movies anymore. I can usually get the DVD through Netflix within a few months and watch it in the comfort of my home, instead of shelling out $20-30 at the movie theater and deal with crying babies, no way to pause the movie, and uncomfortable seats.

    Comment by Mike -

  59. Since you\’re going to give it away for free, why not just put the code on the movie\’s web site too. The minute the unlock code hits the web everyone will be downloading the music without having to see the movie anyway.

    Comment by Michael -

  60. Stop thinking sensibly Mark, its not healthy. Imagine that acting pro-actively finding solutions instead of reactively suing the people you\’re trying to profit from! Of course you and I work in Sales, and realize you can sell anything as long as you have a valid product. What the recording and film industry have to realize is that there product architectures arent as valid as they once were.

    Anyways, Rajon Rondo took it to you last night. He is the real deal, but wont get the Chris Paul treatment because he does it on the D side. It\’ll be even more exciting a month from now in Dallas when KG comes back! Any extra tickets?!?

    Comment by Carl Spackler -

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