Thank you to @clive
for pointing out that yesterday's BBC Record Review programme featured a short interview with Chris O'Reilly chief executive of Presto Music. (It starts at about 1 hour and 19 minutes into the programme which is available on BBC Sounds for the next month).
Points he made:
- Covid has resulted in surprising little change in the balance between physical discs (still over 80% for classical), downloads (9%) and streaming (8%)
- vinyl accounts for a tiny proportion of classical sales (physical sales of classical split over 90% CDs, 6-7% DVD/BlueRay, 1-2% vinyl (not changed much in last 3-5 years)
- most people who download purchases go for higher quality (only about 20% mp3)
- people choose downloads for sound quality
- streaming is producing good revenues for the music industry, especially the back catalogue and playlists; it doesn't produce enough to pay for new recordings so helps the major labels much more than the newer labels
- the challenge is to make new releases profitable
- the app Presto launched in 2021 is for downloads (of music purchased by customers)
- they are working on a streaming service (Andrew McGregor, the presenter of the programme seemed to know about this already)
- users are looking mainly for 3 things: discovery, rich editorial content and curation, and organisation of the catalogue to meet the needs of the classical music consumer
- not all streaming services have the right "taxonomy" for classical: Presto think they should be able to do better*
- streaming quality should be better than CD (many people don't realise this)
- possibly the Presto streaming service will be ready in the autumn of 2022
* I well remember, when we were discussing the problems Primephonic were having in organising the catalogue of Haydn string quartets and symphonies, how evident it was that Presto would likely be well equipped to do a better job.