"Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>I don't believe lack of money is the central issue. I believe it a
>question of changing interests of society.
Don't forget that in the old days when everybody gave lip service to
classical music and Toscanini was a household name, the music business
was much smaller. I am reminded of the marketing theory of the long
tail. The head of today's music business is Britney Spears and all that;
but the very long tail, served by the Internet, contains a lot of classical
music. An outfit called Silver Platter has moved into the premises on
the west coast where Tower's flagship store used to be. The NY Phil has
just made its first live recordings in many years, the Chicago S.O. is
about to start releasing on its own label, and the London S.O. has been
selling its own CDs for some time now. Your own local Austin S.O. Is
doing very well I hear, Karl (say hi to Peter Bay for me). Maybe the
core audience for classical music is still there, just not well served
by the record companies and the broadcasters.
If I had the money to gamble, I would open a little classical CD shop
on the cheap, out of the high rent district, to see how many customers
would seek me out. The Des Moines conurbation must be nearly half a
million people with all the suburbs; there's a Borders and two Barnes
& Nobles, and not even a good selection of Naxos CDs to browse in.
A friend of mine, a great producer of modern jazz, points out that the
major labels would rather sell a million copies of one item than 10,000
copies each of 100 items. That's where the long tail comes in. I used
to listen to you, Karl, on your local classical music station, which you
say has gone over to classical moozak: that may have been foolish of
them. They would have lost me, had I still lived in Austin, and their
current audience may not exhibit a lot of loyalty in the long run. One
can get background or mood music any number of places.
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