Classical Music Experimenting With Modern Business Models
from the mozart-cast dept
We pointed out last year that classical music labels were quite shortsighted in their opposition to the BBC's making recordings of Beethoven available for free. Considering that classical music already suffers from low sales and many people find it intimidating, making it more freely available, should increase the popularity of the genre. It seems like the industry is getting the message, albeit slowly. Labels are now embracing digital downloads (still through paid services) like iTunes, dipping into their large archives, and releasing concert recordings soon after they happen. Already, they've seen some renewed interest and an uptick in sales. But does it make sense for the industry to be charging for downloads at all? The biggest risk, for classical music, is that people stop caring about it entirely. Furthermore, because there is a huge difference between the live and recorded classical music experience, free downloads should only bring more people to live concerts. Another advantage is that since all of the composers are long dead, they don't even have to bother with sticky issues, like songwriter royalties for recordings and broadcasts. It's a positive sign that the head of one distributor is openly talking about monetizing file trading, as opposed to fighting it. It would be quite ironic if the oldest form of music led the way in reshaping the business in the modern era.