The birth of motion pictures and the silent movies era.
Walt Disney’s acclaimed Fantasia, released in 1941, becomes the first film to incorporate surround sound. In the "Flight of the Bumblebee” segment the bumblebee was heard buzzing all around the audience, not just in front of the screen.
Competition from television over the following years inspired even better audio reproduction to theatres, including experiments in stereo.
The CGI age (animation and action driven films) demands better sound in the theatres. Many versions of Surround Sound are developed, and home surround goes digital in 1995 with the introduction of the first Dolby Digital laserdisc, followed by the DVD explosion and Blu-ray.
The first “talkie”; "The Jazz Singer" opens the door to the "Hollywood Golden Age". It is the first feature-length motion picture with not only a synchronised music score, but also lip-synchronous singing and dialogue.
The big boost for surround sound was the 1977 release of Star Wars, with its swooping rear-channel effects. The success of Star Wars and the Blockbuster formula inspired theatre owners to upgrade their audio equipment to the surround sound format.
The digital streaming revolution is in high gear now. Producers need to continue delivering immersive sound to their audiences, but now these audiences are everywhere and with streaming media our listening behaviour has changed drastically
Streamers and Producers now have to cope with changes in the entire supply chain, from production to distribution.
Digital video distribution and portable devices limit playback to two small speakers and simple stereo out, while the surround mix is heard only in cinemas and the premium, home, multi-channel audio systems.
Producers and distributors are investing heavily in high quality productions aimed mainly for VOD platforms.
The end result is that the listening experience in streaming falls short.
Producers and sound mixers need to deliver mixes that brings the best sound quality to these online users, it is a market that cannot be ignored.