Tuesday, 2 August 2005

Roll over Bono: Beethoven beat you

So much for the "shrinking appetite for classical music." The BBC's 'Beethoven' downloads, to which I pointed loyal readers in good time for downloading, has been the most successful online download of all time! Don't just believe me, the Grauniad has the news here.
Forget Coldplay and James Blunt. Forget even Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which, in the version performed at Live8 by Sir Paul McCartney and U2, has become the fastest online-selling song ever. Beethoven has routed the lot of them.Final figures from the BBC show that the complete Beethoven symphonies on its website were downloaded 1.4m times, with individual works downloaded between 89,000 and 220,000 times.
1.4 million downloads! That is amazing.
To put another perspective on the success of the Beethoven downloads, according to Matthew Cosgrove, director of Warner Classics, it would take a commercial CD recording of the complete Beethoven symphonies "upwards of five years" to sell as many downloads as were shifted from the BBC website in two weeks. The BBC has been stunned by the response - so much so that its director general, Mark Thompson, opened his annual report with Beethoven's inscription on the score of the Missa Solemnis: "From the heart ... May it go again to the heart!"
Who says classical music isn't relevant today?


  1. For some opposing views, read this: http://theovergrownpath.blogspot.com/2005/07/download-doomsayer.html

    (a blogger you might wish to add to your blog roll, although he's far left)

  2. Clasical music has never lost its appeal - just people have been too cheap to pay for it I guess. I feel uneasy about downloading 'free' music.I don't let my kids burn CD's to give to their friends either, but that's just me.

  3. Robert Winefield22 Oct 2007, 06:58:00

    While I'm a huge fan of Ludwig and do enjoy a spot of Richard from time to time it behoves me to point out that:

    (1) The BBC were ~giving~ the downloads away.

    (2) If Classical was so popular, why in the *%&# did I ~have~ to be taxed to pay for orchestras, classical radio stations and all that s**t?

    No I can't stand Cold Play etc. either. But at least they aren't sucking off the state tit as the (ahem) BBC does...


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