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The New Zealand Listener interviews Klaus Heymann

May 1, 2012

Klaus Heymann

Naxos founder Klaus Heymann doesn’t see a music industry crisis, but rather an opportunity—as borne out by the success of his company.

In a speech to Britain’s House of Lords, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber condemned the internet as “a Somalia of unregulated piracy”. Klaus Heymann, the German-born Hong Kong-based founder of classical music empire Naxos, might well retort, “What’s the fuss?”

In Chinese, the characters for “crisis” also contain the character for “opportunity”, says Heymann. “Sure, some of our Naxos stuff gets pirated, but this piracy opens the door of an industry of opportunities. Margin for a CD sale is US50–75c, from which I must pay overheads, artist fees and so on. A download fetches me US$4 with no costs or overheads.”

Offline, Heymann is also a winner. A week after interviewing him in Auckland during a visit to mark Naxos’s 25th anniversary year, I get an email: “Dear Ian, you may be interested in knowing that yesterday we won three out of nine classical Grammys. Best regards, Klaus.” Online, he knows where the shark infested waters are. “Pop and rock. They are brief, track-based and song-based. [Pirates] pick single songs and fi le-share them among peers. They scarcely touch jazz and classics.” Continue reading

Source: Ian Dando, New Zealand Listener, 20 April 2012


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