There are many formats that exist in sound that provide options for playback in many different types of environments. The easiest was to determine which format will be right for your project will be to ask yourself the following questions.
Where is the project likely to be played?
How long is the project?
What level of production are you looking to produce?
Is the project for international distribution?
What are other people doing the same type of work you are choosing?
What areas of sound do you want to focus on?
Some of the answers to these things will provide a list of mandatory requirements associated with delivery options. Others are purely the choice of the creators and rely on your judgement about your project to be decided upon.
Here are some examples of places video and music projects can be made available for distribution and the associated sound formats that they offer to help you.
Tik Tok: Stereo
Tidal: Stereo | Dolby Atmos
Apple Music: Stereo | Dolby Atmos
Google Play: Stereo | Dolby Atmos
Amazon Music: Stereo | Dolby Atmos
Binge: Stereo | 5.1
Foxtel: Stereo | 5.1
Amazon Prime: Stereo | 5.1 | Dolby Atmos - (5.1 minimum)
Netflix: Stereo | 5.1 | Dolby Atmos - (5.1 minimum)
Disney+: Stereo | 5.1 | Dolby Atmos - (5.1 minimum)
Stan: Stereo | 5.1 | Dolby Atmos - (5.1 minimum)
You may notice that some of the film based distributors above require 5.1 mixes as a minimum. This is part of their delivery specifications so they can reach a broader audience in a lot of viewing situations across the world. In fact, if you are making a feature film, we'd go as far to say that a 5.1 mix is absolutely essential to even attempt getting any sort of international distribution deal for this reason. In addition to that, there are many other deliverables that distributors ask for but that is for another post.
Depending on the kind of project you are making, where it is to be shown and using which platforms to be played, the delivery requirements will differ. For many short films and independent artists, stereo will be enough to tackle social media and generic launches on Youtube and alike but for the more serious projects, surround sound does offer a much larger audience and scope across the board in terms of your ability to obtain bigger distribution deals.
If you need any further help deciding which format is right for your project or maybe how to approach higher deliverables for more complex projects, give our team a call and we will be able to provide you with professional advice over the phone specific to your project at no extra cost.
After-all, your project deserves the best that you can give it! Let us help you make the right choice at every step of the way.