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CDs declining but far from dead, says Klaus Heymann

March 9, 2017

In its March 2 article on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s announcement last week of its 2017/18 season, Musical America asked the orchestra’s executive director Deborah Borda about the future of recordings. “At this point,” Borda said, “our recording plans are all up in the air. CDs are almost dead, aren’t they?” she continued. “Everything is digital pretty much.”

Klaus Heymann

Asked about the viability of CDs, Naxos Music Group Chairman Klaus Heymann responded with figures that charted a decline in classical music industry CD sales for 2016 over 2015 overall, but described an industry which has already evolved towards a place where recordings play a role in marketing, advertising, developing community relations and impressing important donors, but where the income from those recordings rarely is more than a drop in the bucket for any of the largest orchestras.

It’s streaming income and the evolution of playlists, which Heymann described as its main source, that has created a relentless need for an immense amount of repertoire alongside the famous names, and it is precisely the unequalled size, breadth and quality of Naxos’s reservoir of repertoire that Heymann is banking on in the long run.

While Heymann continues producing more than 200 new recordings a year on Naxos and its owned labels including Ondine, Capriccio, Dynamic and Orfeo, his Naxos Music Group website lists licensing, publishing, world-wide physical and digital distribution, recording and mastering, audiobooks, online libraries, and web shops including ArkivMusic. Naxos Radio offers more than 80 classical music genre channels. Naxos Global Logistics provides “services for the classical music industry.”

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