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FAQs about Sound Vision
How did Sound Vision start?
In North America, less than five percent of Muslims attend their Masjids or Islamic Centers and yet 99% of people own a TV. Similarly, less than one percent of all Muslim children attend Islamic schools, and, there are very few professionally produced resources for non-Muslims living in the West.
The concept behind Sound Vision is that Muslims and non-Muslims of all ages should be able to have access to high quality educational programs that are available on a variety of well-known media. We believe this is an absolute necessity to convey the message of Islam and to ensure that Muslims will continue practicing Islam in the future.
Sound Vision was founded in 1988. In 1995, Sound Vision was transformed into two separate entities. Sound Vision Foundation was created as an independent charitable organization which now owns majority shares in a for-profit company known as SoundVision.Com. From the very beginning, Sound Vision has endeavored to be a leader in the field of Islamic media.
What programs do you produce besides Adam's World?
Alhamdu lillah, Sound Vision continues to be most often associated with our pioneering children's educational series, Adam's World despite our having produced many other very successful programs over the last decade! For the record, Sound Vision also produces documentary films, multimedia programs, Islamic songs, and, a great deal of original content on the World Wide Web. Among our better known programs and projects: Al-Qari PLUS, SalatBase, Islam A Closer Look, Holiday Myths, Whisper of Peace, Colors of Islam, Road to Madinah, and, RadioIslam.com.
Why don't you produce more programs for teenagers?
Teenagers in the West, and particularly in North America, are among the most sophisticated and demanding consumers of media in the world. If a program doesn't appeal to them within a few seconds, they are not likely to give it any more of their time.
Currently the American television, film, advertising, and multimedia industries are spending billions of dollars to ensure their programs and messages occupy "top of mind awareness" amongst this much coveted demographic group. To be fair, Sound Vision does have a few worthwhile educational programs for young adults. On video, we have Hakeem Olajuwon, Wonders of Islamic Science, The Book of Signs, and, Hijab: An Act of Faith. Multimedia programs Al-Qari PLUS and SalatBase can be very helpful for people learning how to memorize the Quran or the more complicated forms of prayer such as how to do a Jumuah Khutbah (Friday sermon). Our Islamic songs on cassette and CD audio — e.g., A Whisper of Peace, Colors of Islam, and, Road to Madinah, are also very popular among teens.
What happened to Young Muslim magazine?
After several trial issues, and a very enthusiastic response, YM, sadly, could not reach the level of paid subscribers that we had targeted. Sound Vision Foundation continues to raise funds for this long awaited project. We hope to have enough funds to publish Young Muslim on a regular basis, Insha Allah.
Aren't some of your programs too expensive?
At Sound Vision we do our best to try and keep our programs within the range of similar programs found in the mainstream American market. Unlike many mainstream companies, we face two major challenges when it comes to our objectives: a. widespread illegal copying, and, b. having to bear with the types of expenses normally shared by several companies put together.
Illegal copying is known to be far higher in "niche markets" like ours and this prevents us from a higher volume of sales. If a higher level of sales were achieved, lowering the price of a particular program would be easier. This is because Sound Vision carries the burden of concept, production, design, packaging, wholesale, retail sales, mail order sales, marketing, technical support and public relations.
In mainstream markets one company rarely takes on all of these cost intensive jobs. When Sound Vision began its operations, there was no marketing infrastructure in place and we literally had to forge our own path to the end user. Our overall market is also smaller and thus our cost per unit is higher. When a communications giant duplicates a video in the hundreds of thousands or millions, their cost per unit is far lower and their profit is far higher than smaller companies like ours even though the price of our video and theirs may be similar.
Our challenges notwithstanding, we have tried to keep costs down wherever possible, and, we have tried to pass along those savings to our customers. For example, the first version of Al-Qari sold for $129. At the time, this was the going rate for multimedia software. Today, a newer, better Al-Qari PLUS sells for only $59. As an incentive, if people buy this program with other software, the price goes down further. Our product catalog features many attractive program "bundles" that offer substantial savings. We have also recently instituted a money back guarantee on our most popular products.
There are several important ways Muslims can help Sound Vision and other Islamic media companies so that we can provide better programs at even better price points.
What if I want to make copies to teach others about Islam?
Many of us are familiar with the story of the goose that was murdered because of her golden eggs. Once the goose stopped living, the golden eggs stopped being produced as well. Like we say, each illegal copy is like a cancer cell that eats away at the future of Islamic media.
Respected Islamic scholars have clearly stated that illegal copying is Haram, or prohibited, in Islamic law. Just as we are not allowed to take something without permission, we should not think it is permissible to take the ideas, efforts and presentation of someone without their consent. Please remember that Allah is good and only accepts that which is good. A good end needs to be preceded by good means. If there is some way we can assist people who are trying to convey Islamic teachings but do not have resources, we would appreciate being contacted rather than having our materials copied illegally.
What if I just want to make a copy for a family member or myself?
It is really the same thing, unfortunately. This is just another type of "cancer sell" for companies like Sound Vision. It not only hurts us today; it cripples the future of Islamic communications everywhere.
© 2002 Sound Vision Foundation, Inc.
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