Classical streaming is getting crowded

Classical streaming is getting crowded


norman lebrecht

November 23, 2022

First there was Idagio with an all-you-can-eat offer of classics around the clock.

Then there was Primpehonic, which got bought by Apple and is about to relaunch as premium classics on line.

Qobuz, Medici and Symphony are all vying for your custom.

Now along comes DG with Stage+ which offers a range of live music videos from branded artists for around $150 a year. (See a list of upcoming livestreams below.)

So where’s your vote going?

· PREMIERE: Víkingur Ólafsson performs From Afar in its entirety from Harpa (Nov 25)

· PREMIERE: New Wagner Ring cycle from Bayreuth Festival 2022: Das Rheingold (Nov 28), Die Walküre (Nov 30), Siegfried (Dec 2) and Götterdämmerung (Dec 4)

· PREMIERE: Max Richter’s Voices from the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg (Dec 10)

· LIVE: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio performed by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists at St Martin-in-the-Fields (Dec 13 & 15)

· PREMIERE: Christmas in Berlin with Albrecht Mayer and Hera Hyesang Park (Dec 23)

· LIVE: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Andrè Schuen, Andris Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig (Dec 31)

· PREMIERE: Yuja Wang presents works by Kapustin, Beethoven and Ligeti at the Vienna Konzerthaus (Jan 6)

· LIVE: Mahler’s Seventh Symphony with Andris Nelsons and the Wiener Philharmoniker at the Vienna Musikverein (Jan 15)

· PREMIERE: Hélène Grimaud and baritone Konstantin Krimmel perform music by Brahms and Silvestrov at the Stienitzsee Turbine Hall (Jan 21)

· PREMIERE: Seong-Jin Cho plays works by Handel at the Siemens Villa in Berlin (Feb 3)


  • YB Schragadove says:

    It’s Qobuz, not Cobuz.

  • Free Spirit says:

    Tidal app

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    It started in July 1997. What was I thinking??!!

  • Fact Checker says:

    Digital Concert Hall by Berlin Phil is missing in the list.

  • John Dietmann says:

    I have been a Qobuz subscriber for almost 10 years on 2 previous streamers and now on a Cambridge Audio Streamer. Their hi-res streaming is superlative,they curate for me on a weekly basis and I can download the CD booklets through their app on my smartphone. Streaming as I never stop telling people through the CA device & CA’s StreamMagic software, Rega Brio amp and B&W speakers is a revelation. Internet radio and my 700 flac ripped cd’s on an SSD is another added CA device advantage. The competition is not really that great. Yesterday I listened at the Royal Academy of Music to a student string quartet play Haydn and Bartok. I know that when they eventually play professionally Qobuz will have their cd. Their name is the Regency Quartet.

  • Robin says:

    Where’s my vote going? That’s an easy choice. I won’t bother with any of them. For recent performances I’ll go to You Tube (who cares if some videos are 6 months or more old?) which will also serve me with some magnificent archival music. Then, as I’m currently doing, I’ll hit the second hand shops where I can buy some wonderful back number CDs for about 90p each. It’s a no brainer.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Got CDs, LPs, and YouTube.
    Also an internet radio.
    Thanks anyway, though.

  • Tony Sanderson says:

    YouTube adds are pushing Vialma.

    There is also medici,tv plus a host of other classical music channels. Orchestras have their own, e.g. GSO Play for the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

    Apple Music offer video as well as audio content.

    They surely won’t all last.

  • Hugh Mather says:

    We stream 120 concerts per year from St Mary’s Perivale ( via YouTube and Vimeo, free to view and available for at least 3 weeks after the concert- usually indefinitely. They are mainly piano recitals or chamber music, and the standards of both the music making and the broadcast are high. There is a real ‘frisson’ in viewing a live concert which old performances can’t match, and most of the best young pianists come to perform – over 60 solo recitals per year. None of us get paid so we can make them free to view, although of course we pay the musicians. Have a look, if you haven’t already …. We need more viewers.

    • anon says:

      Thank you for sharing the link, it’s great you are doing this.
      I mean this constructively: please get someone to revamp your website so it’s more modern and organised. You will see your views go up hugely if you do. It just doesn’t shout quality streaming at the moment, the opposite in fact. I hope this helps.

  • Bedrich Sourcream says:

    What’s the problem? The only problem is if the musicians are not paid sufficiently.

  • musiclover says:

    I subscribe to several services, but Qobuz is the one I wouldn’t give up. Idagio and Primephonic are too limited in selection, and they don’t behave seamlessly with most hardware.

    • John Dietmann says:

      QOBUZ is my primary source of music and it’s fantastic!
      See my comments on the original streaming blog article. But it’s absolutely imperative that one feeds the music into a stereo hi-fi system of quality. I use their app on my smartphone to stream by Bluetooth into my 2 hearing aids which are also Bluetooth stereo “headphones” it’s a Phonak product