Amid ongoing pandemic closures, classical streaming market continues to expand

Posted on: January 14, 2021

In 2020, classical performances “moved online and the business model was given a mighty, once-in-a-generation jolt,” writes Richard Fairman in Friday’s (1/8) Financial Times (U.K.; subscription required). “A handful of major players have been providing wider access for some years [including] the Berlin Philharmonic [and] the Metropolitan Opera…. Other orchestras and opera companies entered the field … in short order…. Festivals, like Tanglewood in the US and Edinburgh in the UK, took up the baton during the summer…. Three organizations exemplify how the ambition to capture the online market is overturning the status quo—the august record company Deutsche Grammophon (DG), the music streaming service Idagio, and longstanding artists’ agency HarrisonParrott…. All three were prompted to move into streaming live performances by the impact of the pandemic…. The initial spur was to replace the activity missing in live concerts and generate income for artists who had lost their work…. HarrisonParrott … launched its live streaming service Virtual Circle on December 8 [with] an orchestral concert by the Oslo Philharmonic…. With so many orchestras and opera companies getting involved, now joined by record companies and artists’ agencies, there is competition at almost every level.”