The Wall Street Journal reports Classical Archives, a site devoted exclusively to selling classical music downloads, is launching with a new look and better functionality. As a fan of classical downloads, I am always put off by the cumbersome search mechanisms iTunes and others use.
I am not sure Classical Archive’s has done any better. I am a label snob, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to search for composers and works on a particular label. The menu system is a little antiquated feeling and the “advanced search” isn’t all that advanced with the limited number of fields it makes available.
In the side bar of the article, there is a quote from an Arkiv Music representative which made me perk up. Before Arkiv lauched a download service they believed that classical music fans would never download music. Turns out, they will!.
Until recently the company hadn’t sold downloads, believing classical fans would stay loyal to CDs. However, when ArkivMusic recently began a trial offer of some releases in digital form, downloads accounted for about 20% of sales. “I was surprised by that number, surprised enough to put more effort into it,” says ArkivMusic president Eric Feidner.