Participants at the Film & TV Music Conference in Los Angeles say it is healthy for business that fewer soundtrack albums are being released than in previous years.
During the “View from the Top” panel, moderated by Billboard co-executive editor Tamara Conniff, Lia Vollack, president of worldwide music for Sony Pictures Entertainment, said that in the ’90s, “people weren’t looking for quality, and soundtracks weren’t good. Consumers rejected them.”
She added, “There are fewer soundtracks, and there should be. Now we do soundtracks only for the right projects.”
Composer Stewart Copeland said, “Soundtrack albums were a bane for directors. They had to shoe-horn tracks in there and tracks that were not in the film.”
Soundtrack deals have also been changing. “Artists were getting ridiculously high fees to do one song, more than an advance for three albums,” said Vollack. “Now we’re making deals in a different way. We show A-list acts the film first, and then we make a deal.”
Money continues to be a big topic of discussion for soundtrack organizers.
Chris Douridas, a music supervisor and host on L.A. radio station KCRW, says a current challenge is “fighting the blemish of what soundtracks are while working with ever-shrinking budgets.”
Vollack says, “Licensing departments are charging more, sometimes five times more. And music budgets are being set aside just to get a movie green-lit.”
The Film & TV Music Conference, presented by Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, continues through tomorrow at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.