The Seattle Symphony has jumped late on the bandwaggon of orchestras with their own record label. Most have failed in their twin purposes: to replace revenue lost when the music industry died and to promote the ensemble’s activities in new markets. Few have broke even.
The only label that has succeeded is LSO Live – chiefly because it was first into the water, built up a rapid back catalogue to pay for new releases and was, from the outset, marketed worldwide.
Seattle has a British MD, Simon Woods, who once worked at EMI. He knows the basics of the record business, old-style. But he has a mountain to climb in a market that is not working.