Record company recycles BBC Beethoven downloads

The worst enemy of the record companies are .... the record companies.

Back in June 2005 the record companies collectively squealed like stuck pigs when the BBC offered exclusive free MP3 downloads of the Beethoven Symphonies played by the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda.

In December 2006 record company Chandos offers exclusive MP3 downloads from their website of .... the Beethoven Symphonies played by the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda.

But no, the guys at Chandos are not turncoats. They are charging for them .... £2.50 ($4.97), or the price of a pint of beer, per symphony.

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Pliable said…
And in a nice performance by the mutual admiration society Gianandrea Noseda appears today on BBC Radio 3's CD review to sing the praises of the BBC Philharmonic Beethoven symphony downloads, and points listeners in the direction of Chandos, to whom his orchestra is contracted .

The old canards of 1.4 million downloads are trotted out, and Noseda justifies the Beethoven downloads by their international reach, and talks movingly of them reaching music starved children in Greenland via the internet.

But what he doesn't mention is that the BBC was very quick to spin the 1.4 million figure, but has declined to give any details of where these downloads actually went, despite that data being available. As has been previously revealed here inside information leaked from the BBC indicates that more than half of the much-trumpeted 1.4 million Beethoven MP3 files went to US downloaders.

Listen to the interview, and a little Beethoven, until November 9 via this link.
Anonymous said…
Dear Pliable,

Greetings and Good Evening.

You may remember me from a Post I had made last week-end as regards any Visitor to your site who has any information on those "Free MP3's" from Danish Public Radio on Mozart's 9 Symphonies.

Any News ? Has anyone got back to you on that ?

Finally, I find it very odd that most of the "B.B.C. Beethoven Experience Downloads" went to U.S. Downloaders ?

Shouldn't the B.B.C. have made it available for all specially those of us in Asia who are finding it impossible to get our hands on Beethoven's and Mozart's Compositions or for that matter any "Classical Music" at all.

I have been looking for 3 years on the Internet and everywhere and I have had no luck at all and here I am a Connoisseur of Sacred Choral and Classical Music and in a country where this genre of Music is not appreciated at all although there are some Fans of Classical Music in South Asia as well as in India.

I wish someone had alerted me about these "Free Downloads from B.B.C.".

I wish B.B.C. would make these downloads available again.

I have no access to CD's at all, nor do I have any friend living in Europe or the United States or Canada for that matter who is willing to burn a "Classical Music C.D." for me.

Finally, if you do come across any Radio Station in Europe that is offering Free Downloads of Beethoven's or Mozart's Compositions -- Could you please alert me.

This is yet another fine post by you.

I am impressed by your awesome posts.

Have a Great Week-end.
Pliable said…
My point was simply to tell readers that the much discussed Beethoven symphony files have now appeared as paid for downloads on a commercial site.

The post in non-judgemental.I couldn't say whether this is good or bad at this stage. Just let's say I'm confused.

It is also probably a mistake to read some profound strategy into this latest development. The original BBC tactic of offering free downloads was a classic 'act first, think second' action. I wouldn't be surprised if this latest developement is no more than a damage limitation exercise following on from that.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pliable said…
Konrad - fine point. I'll drink to that.

Dominic - your point about free downloads going to deserving listeners in Asia, and elsewhere, is very worthy. But there is one problem. Every household in the UK pays £131.50 ($260) to the BBC for the provision of programming. If the BBC produced a programme stream of outstanding quality we could probably accept supplying around one million in the US, and some in Asia, with free classical music, plus subsidised content for Chandos.

Unfortunately, at the moment, in the UK we get a stream of unmitigated crap in return for our £131.50 ($260).

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