And alas, these (GREAT!) composers do not sell well... and they're selling less than they ever did, now.
And than now we are back to the main question which gets NEVER answered since there is no available figure:
What is the average age of current soundtrack customers ??
That's of course a good question, I have no idea, but I suspect that the average age of current soundtrack customers is 40+ or so. That's just a shot in the dark though, as I have no actual figures. However, I defined "customers" for this purpose as people actually "buying" soundtracks, rather than just streaming them.
If the majority of people now around started their interest in film music in the mid-90ies with Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman, I am afraid than we will never get some expected Lalo Schifrin, Gil Melle, Fred Karlin, Billy Goldenberg or Dominic Frontiere terrific seventies scores...just because they just don't know the movies for which they have been composed.
I'm not sure that has just to do with the fact that they have not seen those movies. I mean, I enjoy a lot of movies and film scores of movies that were done long before I was born. I love Miklós Rózsa's music, or Bernard Herrmann's music, even though these composers wrote music for movies long before I was born. I think the core of the issue is something different.
There was a time when Intrada was great for those composers....but these times seem over now for a few years.
And yes, I know, these composers don't sell well and will never do...and the overall cost of producing and shiping a CD by now demands to target what breaks even.
Sad days for 70ies Silver Age B-stuff...
Yes, in 2000, that's when Varèse Sarabande could do their expensive re-recording series, FSM/Intrada & Co released countless soundtracks in new and/or expanded editions, including Golden and Silver Age.
Nowadays, the time is different. It's not just that younger people don't know the movies or the composers, it's that younger people tend not to actually "buy" any music anymore.
Most people, the way I experience it, listen to their music via streaming services. They use Spotify, or if they care about sound quality services like Qobuz/Tidal, and what you find there is enormous. True, not all and perhaps not even most classic film scores are there (though many are), but all the newer soundtracks anyway.
Over the years, I have accumulated a collection of classical, jazz, film, pop etc. scores, most of them I bought on CD, some of which I bought as downloads, all of which are on my NAS and I can access them with various devices. I love it that way and would not want to miss that. I sill buy a lot of music (I just took advantage of Quartet's Sale and bought a bunch of CDs, and took advantage of Qobuz' August sale and bought another 20 recordings or so.)
But if I started out now, would I really turn to "buying" music? I just don't see why. With a streaming subscription you get access to millions of titles, on Tidal and Qobuz in excellent sound quality (CD quality and up). So what would be the point of buying any music? Sure, recordings can come and go, be withdrawn or not, I know, but stuff like that has so far rarely happend with music (much more with movies), and most people would just listen to something else then and not be too bothered if a particular album vanished.
Streaming is, unfortunately, not financially attractive for classical music and film scores. The largest chunk of the money always go to the top stars. As long as that doesn't change, I don't see how classical and film score labels can make much money streaming.
(If somebody pays $20.- a month and listens to three Mahler symphonies and a Beethoven Quartet and somebody else pays $20.- and plays Beoncé day and night, $39.- of those $40.- will go to Beoncé. that's just one of the problems streaming services have, distributing the money according to the number of "plays", though classical music lovers tend to play less, more concentrated and selected music, whereas pop music lovers tend to play music lots of times in the day, while commuting, wherever...)
What we still enjoy today, which is specialty film score labels who still release excellent and well done recordings with liner notes etc, I see now as an outdated distribution model that I am (pleasantly, by all means) surprised survived this long.
I think streaming revenue must buy and large be reformed, so that the distribution of money takes into account not just the actual "plays", but also allocates the money based on who listened to what. That's not the solution of all problems, but a step into making it fairer for labels that cater to smaller interest groups, like classical listeners or film score listeners.