In-house record labels carve niche, even as majors struggle

Posted on: January 20, 2012

Friday (1/20) on The Guardian (London) online, Harry White writes, “The recent sale and deconstruction of arguably the last major label in British music [EMI] has been treated by some commentators as symptomatic of the record industry’s inexorable demise. Despite avoiding quite the same fate as rock and pop releases, the classical music recording industry has been circled by vultures for some time now. … Yet some argue that classical music is a special case in the context of music recording—not dying, but undergoing a metamorphosis. John Gilhooly, director of Wigmore Hall, is one man who has reason to be optimistic about the future. When I spoke to him last year, he was surprisingly bullish about Wigmore’s fledgling label, Wigmore Hall Live. But when it became the first live label to win Gramophone’s coveted Label of the Year award, his stance appeared to have been vindicated. … The continued success of the London Symphony Orchestra’s label, LSO Live, adds considerable weight to Gihooly’s suggestion that independent recording can be of inestimable value as part of a music organisation’s macro-marketing strategy. … Every concert hall and every orchestra has the potential to become its own broadcaster through its website and the internet, says Gilhooly.”

Posted January 20, 2012