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The classical music recording industry is certainly on its last legs, for some quite obvious reasons. Here's a recent article that suggests why new recordings may be rare.

http://slippedisc.com/2015/04/classical-record-sales-just-keep-on-falling/

The industry is also being hurt by the ongoing change in the way people listen to music. CM accounted for 2.8% of albums and album downloads in 2013, but only 0.5% of digital streams.
 

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Something to bear in mind is that we have two independent pieces of information here. First, the best-selling classical album in the US has less than 400 sales in a week. Second, 2.8% of album sales are classical.
Of course we can't just combine the two facts and conclude that fewer than 15,000 albums of all genres are sold in the US each week! The figure is in fact closer to 4 million. So divide that by 2.8% and you get over 100,000 classical albums per week, which implies an extremely long tail to classical sales.
Agree. Still, the difficulty of selling an economical quantity of any one album would tend to make publishing in the classical sector an unattractive prospect. Maybe my active catalog has 1,000 albums, but if I'm losing money on most then I'm not a happy capitalist.
 

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It's an interesting conundrum. The big labels have largely stopped signing major stars and their new classical issues seem to have slowed to a trickle. Classical album sales are a miniscule slice of the pie, and even smaller on the new kid on the block, streaming. Orchestras are suffering and musicians are taking major cuts in salaries and benefits. People are staying away from symphony performances in droves, and major donors are looking elsewhere for places to share their largesse.

And yet...we are faced with a huge selection of recorded music at prices far lower than I've seen in my lifetime, often in great performances and superb sound.

What's up?
 
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