Streaming. Do or die?

Streaming came of age in 2016. Are classical labels responding? Who will?

Chaz Jenkins by Fumubi ltd
Florian Drücke by Markus Nass
  • event type:Classical:NEXT 17 Conference
  • date:18 May 2017
  • time:15:30 - 16:15 CEST
  • city/area:Rotterdam
  • venue:De Doelen, Conference Room 3 (fourth floor)
  • country:Netherlands
  • event posted by:Piranha Arts

Chaired by Chaz Jenkins (UK), managing director, Fumubi Ltd
with Florian Drücke (Germany), managing director, Bundesverband Musikindustrie e.V.
Lorna Aizlewood (UK), global COO & general counsel, IMG Artists
Markus Petersen (Germany), SVP global operations & business development, Warner Classics, Warner Music Group

There is no longer any doubt. Streaming makes money. And after 15 years of decline, the overall market for recorded music is growing. However, by protecting CD revenues rather than engaging new consumers, are classical labels jeopardising their future or playing a long game?

Services and curators are seizing control, playlisting tracks from albums that were A&R'd for CD buyers. And classical performances are consumed by huge audiences on YouTube. Streaming users may not want traditional classical albums, but they want the music.

In pop, artist managers know the album is dead and are setting the agenda, dictating strategy and challenging labels to prove their worth. How should classical labels and artists adapt? What innovations are working?

Or will the investment, committment and skills to promote classical artists come from elsewhere? If so, from where? And will it come at all?