Unsettling News from Naxos

Just a brief post here.  But something that flew under my radar a few weeks ago was this: Naxos Records and Pandora have reached a multi-year agreement under which Pandora can stream the entire Naxos catalog.  Pandora has been streaming classical music for years, but this new agreement, to my eyes, looks like a big attempt on Pandora’s part to up their game in terms of classical music.  The Naxos catalog is enormous and very well-organized.  One of my biggest critiques of the classical music listening experience on Pandora was its relatively small selection and, as a result, its poor infinite playlist logic.  Well, this should improve the experience dramatically – and it could pose a real threat to classical music radio stations.  Here’s a link to the press release from Pandora.

If there was ever a time to echo Larry Rosin’s call for public radio stations to create their own classical music app, this would be that time.

About Joe Goetz

Joe Goetz is Music Director for WFIU 103.7 FM in Bloomington, Indiana, and has eleven years of experience hosting and producing classical music programming for public radio. While completing his B.A. in Music at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO, Joe worked part time as a classical music host at KCME 88.7 FM. Following graduation, he worked as a classical music host and producer at Vermont Public Radio, developing new and engaging programming in addition to programming and hosting a daily afternoon air shift. He is an accomplished pianist with several chamber music performances to his credit, an occasional choir singer, and an avid golfer. He lives with his wife, Meghann, their son William, daughter Allison, and cats Ollie and Blanche.

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4 thoughts on “Unsettling News from Naxos”

  1. There are classical music stations which have phone apps which for the most part live stream their air signal. I have the WFMT and CBC apps on my phone. BBC live streams, including Radio 3, are available via a number of third party apps.

    • Dorrin,

      You’re right, but I’m talking about an interactive app that’s not just a live stream of a particular station. I’m talking about something with the interactivity of Pandora or Spotify, where users can listen to music that suits their tastes. There will always be a place (I hope…!) for host-curated music, but the future is in on-demand, user-friendly content. There’s no getting around it.

      • How many potential providers are there with access to the wide variety of works needed to make that a reality? I realize that every major classical music station has a large library, but can they get clearance to stream it? And at what cost?

        • Those are the million dollar questions, aren’t they? I feel like it would have to be done under the umbrella of a larger organization – maybe NPR or the CPB, and then stations could contribute what was in their libraries to make a complete catalog.

          It would definitely cost a lot of money – not just for licensing but for developing the app and paying a staff to maintain it. But we just can’t sit by and do nothing.


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