Music orgs conquer the web

by Jini Stolk

I’ve been very interested in how a number of music organizations have taken on the challenge of using the internet in new ways to engage and develop audiences.

Tafelmusik recently launched its own record label called Tafelmusik Media, an initiative they see as essential to the company’s future growth in recording, broadcasting, and building international audiences.

This is clearly a smart and entrepreneurial venture responding to diminishing big label recording opportunities and growing online publishing opportunities. They’re actually going to be expanding their offerings to include new digital, live performance concert broadcasts and podcasts, studio CD and DVD recordings, and re-releases of previous Tafelmusik recordings from SONY Classical and CBC Records.

Soundstreams is doing something quite different but just as innovative to engage and invest in a new generation of music creators and lovers. SoundMakers is a website and companion iPad app that gives users the opportunity to experience and engage with works commissioned by Soundstreams. I’ve seen it: it’s incredibly cool.

The website makes 30 years of music available to stream on-demand, and allows listeners to download free samples from selected works and use them to create their own compositions. They can also share their new mixes through the site’s integration with SoundCloud  the popular audio distribution site. A DJ’s dream.

These are both cutting edge steps for two major Canadian companies that are actively working on their own sustainability – and the future of classical and contemporary music audiences. We should all be watching and learning from them.

In a similar vein, Opera Five – a Toronto-based troupe that puts modern takes on classic stories using venues such as bars, subway cars, and “pop-ups” in parks – had a RocketHub campaign (Click Here To Explore This Project) for their new web series Opera Cheats. Not surprisingly, their breaking out of the opera hall is resonating with new audiences discovering opera for the first time.

And since we’re talking about music, whoever said that sports had a more lively media presence than classical music? Not PDQ Bach…Thanks to Dave McLachlan for this lovely link.

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2 Comments

  1. Great list, Jini!

    Some of my peers and I have spent a lot of time discussing new ways of engaging audiences – one of whom is now making waves at Tafelmusik! It’s so wonderful to organizations that truly “get it”.

    Why can’t audiences enjoy a beer while we’re taking in an opera?

    There are clear benefits to listening to music online. Why don’t more companies embrace this instead of being afraid of it?

    • Jini Stolk says:

      Thanks Cassandra; so true. And I’m sure that the conversations you’ve been involved in are part of the process of developing essential new ways of thinking and working.

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