EXCLUSIVE: Independent film distributor Abramorama and audio streaming service Qobuz are teaming up to elevate the profile of a slate of music-driven documentaries.
About 12 to 15 such titles will be released each year via Abramorama and cross-promoted with original content and curated playlists on Qobuz. The Paris-based audiophile company just launched its streaming service in the U.S. While the platform’s 40 million tracks overlaps with much of what’s available on Spotify and Apple Music, Qobuz offers streaming at 24-bit/up to 192 khz, which is better than CD quality. It also is aiming to fill in gaps in genres including jazz and classical music.
Abramorama has seen notable box office returns on films featuring The Beatles, Neil Young, Green Day, Pearl Jam, The National and others. Its recent releases include Ed Sheeran’s Songwriter, Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church and Matangi / Maya / M.I.A. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years collected $2.9 million in 2016, becoming the company’s all-time top-grossing title.
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More broadly, the film business has looked to take advantage of music as an attendance driver and marketing tool, with Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born leading a wave of music-themed titles from both specialty labels and major studios alike.
Under the partnership, Qobuz will produce original content about select Abramorama films, and Abramorama’s filmmakers and musicians will curate Qobuz playlists. In addition, new and current Qobuz subscribers will be offered opportunities to attend theatrical screenings or stream and download Abramorama films.
Already in the works are playlists tied to the music-driven films ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas; The Public Image Is Rotten, about Sex Pistols co-founder John Lydon; Straight Into the Storm, about the independent rock band Deer Tick; Carmine Street Guitars, about the celebrated handmade-guitar shop in New York’s Greenwich Village; and Stanley Nelson’s Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool.
“We have had tremendous success over the last few years giving music-driven films a theatrical platform,” Abramorama CEO Richard Abramowitz said. Qobuz, meanwhile, “has quickly grown to be a site for true music aficionados and we have a common goal to provide music lovers with high quality, curated content. Partnering with Qobuz gives us the opportunity to cross our films over to their devoted music lovers and give them a feel for our content through the playlists our filmmakers and musicians will create.”
Dan Mackta, Managing Director of Qobuz USA, added: “I have been impressed with Abramorama’s ability to cut through the clutter and deliver high-quality, music-driven films to the theatrical marketplace. Their films are the films our music lovers will want to see, and we welcome the opportunity to provide our subscribers with unique and curated content only available on Qobuz.”
Abramorama films and related content will be featured by Qobuz in its consumer marketing, including in-market events, partnerships with high end audio gear manufacturers, online and in the app. In turn, Abramorama will extend Qobuz offers and content to theatrical ticket buyers in select markets and to VOD customers in the U.S.
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