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Harmonia Mundi – An Indie Classical Label That's Thriving In Tough Times

PARIS (Hypebot) – Classical Record Industry Down 30% In '09, Harmonia Mundi Up 9% .

All this week on Hypebot, we're exploring how the double whammy of falling sales and the global economic downturn is effecting the music industry. This guest post by Charlie Dahan, which first appeared on his Center Of The Indie Label Universe blog, shows how one indie label is using old fashion A&R to thrive in tough times.

You think the pop record industry is having a hard time of it – look at the classical music industry. Product has been devalued by labels like Naxos to be a budget line item, stores are closing, radio is disappearing, funding from the private and public sector is drying up and the audience is graying. Most labels have closed their classical division and sales are down over 30% for 2009.

Not for French indie, Harmonia Mundi. They have seen an increase in their sales in 2009 of nearly 10% by recording new music, signing new artists and getting the hell out of their way and letting them develop over several records – sounds like a winning formula. They have also developed a loyal customer base, who trusts the brand and is willing to give anything with a Harmonia Mundi stamp on it.

Read about them and listen to their NPR interview here. Even if you don’t like Classical music, you can learn a lot from their business model and practices.