As could be read on my twitter and facebook. I did an interview for the Dutch film music magazine Score. My friends on StreamingSoundtacks.com asked me to provide an English translation for this interview. I did an exact translation as possible. If you can read Dutch please go to http://www.score-magazine.nl, register and download the magazine (No. 163) yourself instead of reading this English translation. They deserve our support.
TEN YEARS OF STREAMINGSOUNDTRACKS
The site http://www.streamingsoundtracks.com has been around for ten years. The site does what its name promises: there are continuous soundtracks to listen to. Anton Smit is from Groningen, Caliburn has been his nickname on the site of streaming soundtracks (SST), In his daily life he is a software engineer at the University of Groningen, can tell a lot about it. “I give technical support and above all keep an eye keeping the site running. “
What exactly is streaming soundtracks? Anton Smit: “It is actually a radio station. Ten years ago a man we know as JERIC wanted to hear soundtracks he had at home while he was working so he build this site. The site has been growing ever since. JERIC is still the boss and the owner. We as the crew have a lof of respect for this man and he welcomes all the help he can get to help out with this overgrown hobby. Help of his wife, technical administrators like me, moderators who are keeping theÂ chat and forums a nice stay and people that keep an overall eye on the albums, are the tracks correct and for example covers with naked women are not allowed, because we are family-friendly and in the U.S. that is very important to keep an eye on. In the early days of the station you could click on a song and immediately it would start playing almost right away. That would be radio on demand, and that is not allowed under U.S. law. There are rules you have to follow, such as that it should always take more than one hour before a request would be playing on the radio. This is just one example for rules we follow since we are a professional radio station. We pay royalties. “
But where are all the finances coming from? “Donations are our primary source. JERIC do not want advertising on the stream. But we also get a good share of funds from listeners who are buying a so-called VIP-membership. You are VIP for at least six U.S. dollars per month, and this status will entitle you to request music more often. During daytime our request-times areÂ typically six hours and 30 minutes. That means: who is not a VIP is allowed to request one track every six hours. For a VIP member this is once in 30 minutes. After requesting, the track will not be requestable again for 15 days. That is why the site says: “No repeats: fifteen days”. This keeps our station varied. Here you can see that our library is quite large, currently the station includes around 4800 albums.”
How did you get all that music? “Publishers give us their music, by CD’s or by mp3 upload. Many individuals donate CD’s. For example,Â I donated ‘Kongo’ by Henny Vrienten en ‘Turks Fruit’ by Rogier van Otterloo. AndÂ music composers themselves donate their music. Because we have members all over the globe, there is music from many countries on SST. That is the strength of our station: with that many people comes knowledge of music that you do not know. By creating lists of your personal favorite tracks, you will learn someone elses taste of music you have never heard before. Good example for me is Bartosz Chajdecki. A Pole who has written beautiful music for the Polish TV series ‘Days of Honor’. Such a soundtrack wouldÂ have never been discovered by me.” “In the past people managed to record music from our site with special software. That risk is still there. What we do against that is to fade one track into the next one. This makes it for the software hard to record separate tracks”
What does your future look like? “We continue to expand. We are getting known better in film music world. For example we now try to get an interview by email with John Williams. We are trying to make contract with the personal assistant of John Williams. We are doing this via the previous assistant who is a good friend of ours. We also try to get more reviews on our albums on our site. Essentially we are still trying to become larger, attract more listeners. We manifest ourselves on film and or music festivals. We all wear the same T-shirt. That’s good PR for the site. We also try to stimulate buying CD’sÂ Just take my SST colleague Stefan. He had two soundtrack CD’s at the time he discovered SST a few years ago. Now he has more than 600.”