Any Netflix user will be familiar with the short and sweet 'ta-dum' sound that kicks off your arrival on the Netflix platform. As a startup sound, it's not bad, offering a building familiarity over time, without enough of a drawn-out composition as to grate on the ears the more you hear it.
If you're watching a Netflix movie in the cinema or at a festival screening, though, you may have heard something quite different. It turns out Netflix commissioned famed composer Hans Zimmer (Inception, Gladiator, No Time To Die) to create a fully cinematic alternative to this humble sound, for viewers to enjoy on a larger scale.
You can listen to the full audio clip – 16 seconds in total – below.
The Netflix "ta-dum" soundmark is one of the all time greats, but doesn't work as well in a theater because it's only 3 seconds long.So Netflix commissioned Hans Zimmer to extend it for theaters and ... it's ... so ... good.pic.twitter.com/RGw26vCAGYAugust 9, 2020
Gotta Hans it to you
Netflix's very brief startup / login sound is great when you're simply trying to dive into The Witcher as quickly as possible, but the start of any film in the cinema is ripe for building anticipation – part of the reason why pre-film trailers are beloved by so many.
The expanded version is clearly aimed at bigging up Netflix's cinematic credentials on the film festival circuit, too – a place where it hasn't always been welcomed with open arms. Amid cinema closures across the world, though, relaxations over awards criteria has meant Netflix is more able to submit its own titles for consideration at the Oscars.
Hans Zimmer is a household name – no mean feat as a composer – and the result is certainly more cinematic. Unless Netflix keeps putting out awards-bait like The Irishman and Roma, though – alongside popcorn flicks like Extraction – all the startup remixes in the world won't keep it in cinephiles' hearts.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.