Selling Classical Music Online

Category : Blog Archive May 9th, 2009

A new digital store exclusively for classical music. (Complete with a browsing system designed by musicologists.)

The specialty site, a revamped Classical Archives, hopes to steal classical listeners away from iTunes, where classical and pop music tend to appear side-by-side in search results. (“It’s basically a lack of respect when you say Bach is an ‘artist,’ not a composer,” founder Pierre Schwob says.) Personally, this tends to bother me less than the fact that iTunes usually forces you to buy classical albums in their entirety–less frequently offering the option of buying individual works or even movements. (Sacrilege, I know!) Something tells me that this is not of the things Classical Archives hopes to change.

It’s true that iTunes is not set up for the classical connoisseur. In that respect, this new service might not have any trouble cornering that 3% of the market. But will it do anything to promote the records more widely or attract new listeners?