Frequently Asked Questions
How does The Speek find the videos they offer in their catalogue?
Among the members of The Speek team, we literally have more than 150 years of combined experience in the music industry. Now granted, that’s not linear—none of us were around during the age of Gregorian chants. But as you might imagine, between us, we’ve made a lot of valuable contacts over the years, so we have a lot of inroads to some great material. And music collectors –as we all are to varying extents—tend to be detectives by nature, so the ability to ferret out lost treasures does indeed come naturally to us.
The home video industry is just over 30 years old. And the proliferation of online video-on-demand really reached critical mass in the past decade. So, while this relatively recent component of the music business has been responsible for unearthing lots of performance clips and vintage TV and film appearances, there are still so many caches of forgotten treasures out there. Remember, events that we consider touchstones in music history today were often regarded, merely, as disposable, passing moments in time at their point of inception. Consequently, countless videotapes of priceless performances were erased over the years. Film often degraded or was destroyed to make shelf space in studio archives. But thankfully, on occasion, forward-thinking individuals saved these now priceless artifacts, and in some cases, tape and film survived simply because they were lost and forgotten is some dark, dusty vault.
We’ve made it our mission to find, rescue and restore these musical treasures.
What does the restoration process entail?
It’s not unlike seeing a beautifully restored new print of one of your favorite old movies. We convert the original videotape or film to the digital realm and –utilizing a combination of computer technology and human discretion—we sharpen the images, revive the color (of course, when it’s not a B&W print), and enhance the audio. There are no substituted elements introduced, it’s simply a new and improved music video.
Case in point: On occasion, you may come across one of our videos in an earlier bootlegged state on YouTube. Compare the graininess of the image and the poor audio quality with our restored, remastered videos. The difference is dramatic. When you purchase and download a clip from The Speek content in the iTunes store, you can be assured that you have the best quality video and audio in existence of that particular performance.
Does The Speek pay royalties to the artists in the video clips?
Ah, the Number One question as presented by those very artists! The answer is an emphatic “yes.” We negotiate a fair and equitable royalty rate with the representatives of every artist or their estate. In one notable and humorous instance, we received a demand from a very prominent artist (who shall remain nameless) to remove his video from our site, having assumed it was pirated. When we informed him that he had, in fact, been receiving quarterly royalty checks from us, his demeanor –as you might imagine—improved considerably.
Another artist –the member of a legendary group—inquired as to whether or not we’d be paying him for the downloads of his videos. When we responded in the affirmative, he exclaimed, “Well, you’re the first to do so!”
We believe that everyone should be paid for their work—their artistry. And The Speek goes to great lengths to ensure that royalties are paid in a timely and accurate fashion.
I'm chiefly interested in the audio aspect of these music clips. I'll probably only watch them occasionally.
Well, you can simply enjoy the audio performance, just as you do your regular .mp3 files on your iPod or other mobile devices. Your computer, too.
Will the videos in The Speek catalogue ever be available in physical format-on DVD or Blu-Ray?
At this time there are no specific plans for release of these videos on disc. We’re a small, lean, relatively new company, and our focus at this time is to get as many incredible performance clips into our catalogue as soon as possible. Securing rights for physical sales, retail distribution and marketing are time consuming, costly endeavors so, for now, we’re focusing our efforts and energies on our online store. Would we like to expand our availability to DVD and Blu-Ray someday? Certainly, and should that come about, we’ll make sure it’s front page news.
Are you interested in new sources of videos for your catalogue?
Absolutely! If you are a firm or individual with the rights to high quality video or film of exceptional or historic music performances, we'd be very interested to hear from you. Feel free to contact us at your convenience.
How often will you be adding new videos to The Speek catalogue?
As fast as humanly possible. As you might imagine, acquisition, securing rights and restoration of these performances is a labor-intensive, expensive process. Virtually every download from our current catalogue helps underwrite our future offerings. We're not claiming to be a charitable endeavor, but rest assured that there will be no corporate retreats to St. Croix in the foreseeable future!
We have some amazing videos currently in our production pipeline-performances of classic songs by legendary artists that have not been seen in decades. Check back frequently, as our offerings will be growing dramatically. Better yet, sign up and we'll email you with regular updates, interesting music news and more.
Where is The Speek based?
Well, in this Web-connected world, we’re just a keystroke away on your personal computer. In literal terms, however, we’re very much an international concern. Our headquarters is in South West England. Our restoration/production team is based in Toronto, and we have staff in Washington, DC as well. We’ve pretty much got the Western World covered. Of course, our primary mission remains to bring you lorry loads / truckloads of fascinating and historic music performances!