Sunday, July 03, 2005

The BBC destroys classical music CD sales

BBC - Radio 3 - Beethoven Experience - downloads

The BBC has become a rogue force on a world scale. Bully for them.

Beethoven's symponies are no longer under copyrighted, but the performances are. The BBC has a very fine internal orchestra, they had them perform the symphonies and they've released them as MP3 files.

This is not what you'd get were you to "rip" a classical music CD. The performance is preceded by some BBC dialog. There are no tracks, no named portions of the symphony. There's no "metadata" associated with the file. Each MP3 file is online for only one week after the companion radio show -- for reasons that are unclear to me (perhaps they want to give record companies time to shut down their operations?).

Even so, this is the beginning of the end for classical music CD sales. As others do this the economics of the business will shift. At current prices it may become uneconomical to continue to sell classical music CDs. The only way to preserve the business in 10 years will be to charge substantially more money for each CD sold.

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