Considering the post-pandemic future of classical streaming

Posted on: April 9, 2021

“In a year all but bereft of upsides, streamed concerts have offered something close to a silver lining,” writes Hannah Edgar in Monday’s (4/5) Chicago Tribune. “They’ve flung open doors to otherwise inaccessible performances—whether fiscally or physically—and abetted novel performances that might not have happened otherwise…. After six months of experimenting with digital-first content, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra … in September [launched] CSOtv. The platform centralizes the orchestra’s digital programming in one hub…. [CSO President Jeff] Alexander suspects that concert-length performances for the small screen are ‘very likely’ here to stay…. Historically speaking, there’s no guarantee that the digital performances of the past year will be viewable … in long-term…. ‘The artifacts from this moment in time aren’t physical, they’re virtual…. We don’t know what happens to digital materials over a period of time. You can’t just put it on a shelf and forget about it,’ explains Frank Villella, director of the CSO’s Rosenthal Archives…. One thing is clear … The way we experience concerts will never be the same.” Also covered are streaming options by other Chicago music groups and the 2020 temporary modification of the Integrated Media Agreement regarding musician compensation and rights surrounding multimedia content.