This week, when I received my Newsweek in the mail, I surprised to find a three page article covering the classical music industry's ability to effectively seize upon the new opportunities that exist with digital distribution.
According to the article, classical music sales grew by 22% compared to 5% decline for other music categories.
The article also claims:
Musically speaking, the classical genre has proved to be ideal for a digital era. The classical customer is technologically savvy and more likely to buy in bulk, and the viral nature of the Net has allowed the music to be heard by new audiences, fueling overall sales.
Yup, this pretty much describes my music buying habits.
Audiophiles will likely not like this emerging trend. Sound quality, they say, is lacking because digital files are exceedingly compressed to enable efficient downloading. There is no doubt this is an accurate critique, but I am willing to sacrifice quality for a larger classical music audience and access to a robust, never out of print catalogue.