Naxos chief sanguine about classical recording sales

Posted on: July 19, 2010

On Friday (7/16) in her Washington Post blog The Classical Beat, Anne Midgette interviews Naxos Records founder and CEO Klaus Heymann. He tells her that his company’s Naxos Music Library, a fee-based online service, is “a big thing now. It’s the fastest growing business we have. This year it’s up 25% on last year. Nothing else is up 25%.” Physical CD sales are “still surprisingly strong in classical music, unlike pop and rock. …All our distribution companies are very profitable, not necessarily from selling our own stuff, but we sell practically every independent classical label. … Our strategy is that we will be the last man standing in terms of distributing classical music.” Despite the recent economic downturn, he comments, “We had a very good 2008 and 2009. I looked at the first six months of 2010, and we’re probably going to be the same as last year. But in the States, if they start firing school teachers and government employees, that will affect classical music sales.” Heymann notes that “the only thing you can make money from these days is guitar solo or piano which doesn’t cost you anything [to record]. With an orchestra recording you have to sell 20,000, and nothing sells 20,000 these days.”

Posted July 19, 2010