Labels & Start-Ups Bring Classical Music to Streaming Services With New Apps

By Ian Holubiak on Jan 12, 2016 02:31 PM EST
50th Anniversary Of The Elysee Treaty In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office (BPA), President Joachim Gauch makes a speech during a concert at the Berliner Philharmonie to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, on January 22, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo : Guido Bergmann/Bundesregierung - Pool via Getty Images)

The ability to stream music has had labels and artists alike scrounging to catch up to an Internet void that is, much like our universe, ever-expanding. While pop music is a top contender for streaming services, classical music has begun to play a role in the game too. From start-ups to labels to orchestras themselves, classical is not faltering in the race to stay on beat with new services and apps.

From Taylor Swift's open letter to Apple Music regarding its unfair streaming practices to Spotify ripping off almost all its artists, streaming music has fallen into a proverbial grey area without much regulation. While the music world scrambles to accommodate what may be one of the most massive changes in all of music history, classical start-ups, labels and artists themselves are inserting themselves into the Internet stratosphere.

Of this growing echelon are three start-ups: Medici, Grammofy and Idagio. Perhaps the top contender in this circle is Medici, who is considered a pioneer in the field and was even the sole streaming service for the 2015 Tchaikovsky competition.

Next is Grammofy, a British-German company that launched its beta in 2015 and provides a weekly round up of classical coupled with introductions. Finally, the German-based start-up Idagio offers a similar model to its competitors but also provides an iOS app too.

To aid in the experiment with bringing classical to streaming are major labels including Naxos, Universal and Pentatone. As of late, Naxos yields the largest streaming library for classical music with over 120,000 albums available for listen. Universal recently launched Composed, a subscription-only service that brings the catalogues of Decca and Deutsche Grammophon to the table but is only available in the U.K.

Pentatone just barely makes the list, however, because it's only a downloading service. Still, it should be considered because the quality of its music is unparalleled.

Orchestras in Berlin, Gothenburg and Bergen have tried their hand at streaming, too. The Berlin Philharmonic released its Digital Concert Hall, which brings it concerts to a worldwide audience via video streaming. For the Gothenburg Symphony, they have created GSOplay, a free streaming service that provides access to its live functions and allows them to be viewed for up to 30-days post-performance.

The Bergen Philharmonic perhaps took this idea the furthest, as it partnered with music tech company OIID to bring the same services as the former two organizations but to your tablets and smart phones. Also, you can view the score as it's being performed, a massive step forward for music junkies and fellow artists.

Google, also, has added Classical Live to its Google Play platform also and has helped provide streaming to the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and so on.

So while the classical sphere tries to narrow in on how to function as a contender in the streaming world, organizations are trying their hand new services and are finding success within their own creativity.

For now, though, view a simulcast that is rooted in the realm of streaming below.

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TagsMedici, Grammofy, Idagio, Naxos, PentaTone, Classical Live, Universal

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