Both orchestras are part of a new initiative by the Universal Music Group built on its Deutsche Grammophon and Decca labels. DG Concerts and Decca Concerts will, between them, ultimately service about 10 orchestras in the United States and abroad. Negotiations are under way with orchestras in London, Paris and three German cities. The current intention is for each orchestra to offer, on average, four concerts a season for digital downloading, and one of the four would also be released on CD.
The New York Philharmonic, in its three-year project with DG Concerts, is taking a financial gamble in the hope of reaching a worldwide audience. As part of the contract, the Philharmonic members chose a percentage of royalties rather than their usual flat fee up front. The recordings remain the property of the Philharmonic, which has licensed them to Deutsche Grammophon.
"For us, it's all about getting a foothold in the new media," said the violinist Fiona Simon, the chairwoman of the orchestra committee that helped negotiate the deal. "Downloading is probably the way that classical music is going to be distributed in the future. The CD isn't dead yet, but it's fading."
The orchestras involved in the Universal initiative will provide the record companies with edited tape. The labels will do the mastering, prepare the tape for downloading, supply artwork and liner notes to the digital music services, and handle promotion costs.
From today's New York Times
More information via this link.
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