Breaking: Classic FM’s streaming service fails

Breaking: Classic FM’s streaming service fails


norman lebrecht

August 03, 2016, a joint streaming venture between Classic FM and Universal Music, is shutting down at the end of the month.

The site allowed subscribers access to a portion of the Universal classical catalogue, but its uptake never fulfilled the initial hopes after an expensive launch and a decision was taken in the past couple of weeks to pull the plug.

The abrupt closure announcement appeared today.

Some analysts reckon the fit was wrong. ClassicFM users tend to be passive. Streaming seekers are active and highly selective. There is room in the market for a service of this sort, but not from this source.


composed closing




  • Roger - New York says:

    DE-COMPOSED, along with Sinfini Music – oh dear Universal Music, how the mighty have fallen. Have Decca or DG made a recording recently? Rarely see anything from them these days.

  • Anon says:

    It was never going to work. Asking consumers to pay for access to something they could already get free, or at similar cost from Spotify or similar (where they also gain access to a vast array of music from elsewhere) was never going to work, not without very attractive added incentives. Consumers just aren’t that stupid.

  • Emil Archambault says:

    Perhaps you should also mention that you are associated to a new service to be launched to do exactly this. In the spirit of full disclosure, you know?

    So when you say “There is room in the market for a service of this sort, but not from this source,” you’re covertly marketing your soon-to-be-launched service.

  • James Ross says:

    What went wrong? Did a ‘tied pub’ business model lead COMPOSED to lack critical independence, sufficient musical range and lack of distinctive content needed to attract paid subscribers, and to take them from the huge free access repertoires of YouTube, Idagio or Spotify? Did Classic FM have insufficient in-depth musical knowledge and critical judgement to provide the right editorial content, and was a more integrated broadcasting and live performance strategy with artistic partners needed? Where was the growth model beyond music streaming, and aspiration to become a wider classical music and affiliate platform?

    These are questions other classical streaming services need to answer quickly to survive and succeed.

  • Glyn jones says:

    What a shame I enjoyed the service !!
    Hey ho !!

  • Steve Oldham says:

    Things I liked about it – available on all my devices, PC, phone etc. Introduced music that I wouldn’t normally listen to. No adverts. Classics only – when you searched for Beethoven you didn’t get ‘Roll over Beethoven’ etc. For me it was worth the £5/month.

    Whilst currently still a subscriber, today many tracks are only playing to a ‘preview length’. The rot has commenced!

  • Bignewshound says:

    I think the fact there are only seven comments left on this page about the demise of Composed says it all. It should have worked. It could have worked. Classic FM stopped promoting it after the launch – silly mistake. The price point was too high – lack of foresight. And worst of all the format did nothing to market itself beyond the passive, older and technologically less adept classical music users. Maybe the tie to universal was too inhibiting. Finally, The name should have worked. But looking back it was just not ‘sexy’ enough.

  • Richard Caley says:

    I thought it was great and worth the money to avoid the adverts on Classic FM especially as you could produce your own playlist of favourites. I’m also disappointed that some items in the Classic FM playlist are not available for purchase from the iTunes library.

  • John Lawes says:

    Composed was fantastic very sad it as gone perhaps it should try again different name and format and price.