DIY record labels proliferate

Posted on: May 9, 2014

“The Berlin Philharmonic just announced that it is launching an in-house record label,” write Naomi Lewin and Brian Wise at Thursday’s (5/8) “Conducting Business” blog at the website of NYC radio station WQXR. “Days later, Daniel Barenboim said that he’s getting his own record label—a digital-only venture.… That same week, the Seattle Symphony released the first CDs in its new in-house label…. The artist-led recording phenomenon has had mixed results since it took hold in the orchestra world more than a decade ago…. As major labels have retrenched or disappeared, orchestras seek new revenue streams and record sales have moved almost exclusively online.… Successful orchestra-led labels are designed to build an organization’s brand, not make a profit, said Matt Whittier, the director of marketing and label relations at Naxos…. While orchestras in Chicago, San Francisco and London have maintained a steady recorded presence, other in-house labels have faltered because they lack sufficient marketing and distribution.… The Berlin Philharmonic should benefit from having a distribution platform already in place with its Digital Concert Hall.… ‘An orchestra with its own record label in this day and age is about creating memories,’ said Marc Geelhoed, who manages the Chicago Symphony house label CSO Resound.”

Posted May 9, 2014