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Classical music highlights interesting online sales trend

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 23 Oct 2007 11:32 User comments (4)

Classical music highlights interesting online sales trend Although there's much debate over the effect of music downloads on popular music sales, a much more interesting trend may be emerging which is specific to music that's not so popular. Although not in any danger of selling millions of copies or climbing the popular music charts, classical music has silently increased in popularity in the age of downloadable music.
According to Chris Bell, Director of Worldwide Product and Music Marketing for iTunes, the increased interest in classical music and other relatively fringe musical styles appears to be the product of the online marketplace where it's easy to listen to samples of different musical styles. He also says that classical music in particular sells better online than in traditional retail operations, although he won't go into details about the exact figures.

Besides the ease of finding and previewing music on the internet, some non-traditional classical music purchases certainly come as a result of internet anonymity. Without having to go to a brick and mortar store, inhibitions about asking meaningful questions and embarassment, either from not knowing the first thing about classical works or from being seen perusing a store's classical selection become non-factors.

Instead of non-commercial piracy on P2P networks, perhaps what the music industry should be worried about is an increasingly level playing field, where less successful artists and music can actually gain market share because of the internet's global reach.

Source: New Yorker

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4 user comments

123.10.2007 14:54

Chopin FTW

223.10.2007 14:57

Quote:
...music that's not so popular... classical music and other relatively fringe musical styles appears to be the product of the online marketplace where it's easy to listen to samples of different musical styles. Besides the ease of finding and previewing music on the internet, some non-traditional classical music purchases certainly come as a result of internet anonymity.
I think the main factor is inventory & selection. That's why I buy all of my CDs online... If it's not current "top 40", there is a good chance you won't find it in the store, so you check iTunes, Amazon, or CD Universe first.

This is also a big factor in Netflix's success. They have something like 50 times the selection of a retail video rental store, and they rent-out over 90% of their titles at least once every month. It's not a huge part of their business, but it's business that the retailers can't get!

P.S.
Here's another factor that pushes-up classial music sales- Most classical music buyers are not going to buy one "song" at a time. They are going to buy the whole CD. For example, Beethoven's 5th fills-up an entire CD.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Oct 2007 @ 15:28

324.10.2007 17:28

Well consumers still do listen to classical this is nothing new. We do have music students that want to follow in other classical musicans foot steps and learn from them hence this result.

426.10.2007 0:59

It's funny. About a year ago a friend gave me an iTunes gift card for helping her with something. I had sworn that I would never buy from iTunes mostly because of DRM, but since I didn't actually had to pay, I took a look around the store. Finally I ended up buying classical music. Specifically, I bought some well known masterpieces and a Rachmaninov album that cannot be found anymore.

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