You think the pop record industry is having a hard time of it – look at the classical music industry. Labels like Naxos have shifted the market to expect classical music to be budget priced items, stores are closing, radio is disappearing, funding from the private and public sector is drying up and the audience is graying. Most labels have closed their classical division and sales are down over 30% for 2009.
Not for French indie, Harmonia Mundi. They have seen an increase in their sales in 2009 of nearly 10% by recording new music, signing new artists and getting the hell out of their way and letting them develop over several records – sounds like a winning formula. They have also developed a loyal customer base, who trusts the brand and is willing to give anything with a Harmonia Mundi stamp on it.
Read about them and listen to their NPR interview here.
Even if you don’t like Classical music, you can learn a lot from their business model and practices.