Over the last five years an independent record shop has closed in the UK every three days.
SOUND IT OUT (75 mins) is a documentary portrait of the very last surviving vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England. A cultural haven in one of the most deprived areas in the UK, SOUND IT OUT documents a place that is thriving against the odds and the local community that keeps it alive.
The film is directed by Jeanie Finlay who grew up three miles from the shop, and represents a distinctive, funny and intimate film about men, the North and the irreplaceable role music plays in our lives. Sally Hodgson is the PMD on the project who I have written about before.
What is also distinctive about SOUND IT OUT is the innovative merchandise that they are offering. Check out their store. One of the key things you want to try to do with merchandise – if offer scarce goods – limited editions that will be valued by fans. In addition to selling a classic DVD, they have produced an ultra limited edition 7″ gate-fold version of the DVD (only 350 copies are available for sale). The DVD, which was printed with grooves like a vinyl record, is mounted on sleeve notes with credits for supporters of the film on IndieGoGo and thank yous by the director. The limited edition DVD also includes artwork by Amy Blackwell as well a hand numbered, 4 track baby blue vinyl soundtrack EP. The EP features Saint Saviour “When you smile,” The Chapman Family “Sound of the Radio,” Detective Instinct “Witches Birdies,” and Das Wanderlust “Pyrmintro.”
SOUND IT OUT also offers some more traditional fare including stickers, pin badges, and posters to go with more unique items like a pair of vinyl earrings custom designed by the wonderful people at Tatty Devine.
I am a firm believer that in providing customers a way to engage your film at various price points – so that they can choose a level that feels right for them. This is common for crowdfund campaigns, but is only starting to be adopted by independents in their stores. Sound It Out are selling various combinations of their merchandise. You can buy the ltd edition boutique vinyl DVD together with the classic DVD. There is also the “whole shebang” combo deal, which bundles together the Boutique DVD, A2 poster (paper), stickers and badges.
Through their clever merchandising SOUND IT OUT shows that a little ingenuity goes a long way. By offering limited edition items in addition and combination with more traditional fare, SOUND IT OUT widens their net, creating unique value for unique consumers to ensure that no dollar is left on the table.