Steinway acquires 'on-demand' music retailer


Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. has announced it has acquired ArkivMusic, LLC, an online retailer of classical music recordings. Specializing in the efficient delivery of a broad selection of classical music titles direct to the consumer, ArkivMusic sells over 90,000 titles, including thousands of previously out-of-print recordings produced "on-demand" through its ArkivCD program. The company's annual revenue growth rate has accelerated over the last four years, exceeding 30% in 2007, with sales last year of just over $8 million. ArkivMusic will continue to operate independently as a wholly owned subsidiary of Steinway.

ArkivMusic has a business model that the struggling major record labels can learn a few things from as it combines the strengths of physical product with the benefits of a minimum inventory technology based business. An example is their licensing and making available "on-demand" EMI's David Munrow back-catalogue, the latest release being The Art of Courtly Love. There is a wonderful irony that as EMI's new owner Guy Hands pontificates about finding "a solution to the problems that face the entire recorded music industry" other smart companies are building those very solutions with EMI's crown jewels.

Read about David Munrow on the record here.
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