In the news yesterday, it seems the Boston Symphony Orchestra is creating a site where users can download recordings by this orchestra - in an attempt to make up for the lack of a record contract. The article goes on to say both the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra already have their own sites. BSO has been on iTunes, but there is little revenue in that (at least not for BSO - Apple is making a killing), so they are creating their own site.
A bit more research and I find that classical music downloads sites are exploding everywhere. Here are just a few:
Again, this is just scratching the surface. What it does show is there is not only a market for classical music but potentially real choices for both artists and consumers. Since most of these sites also recommend other albums/songs/tracks to download with every selection the idea of new music or little known pieces getting a chance to be heard is even greater than waiting for an audience to appear at the concert hall or take a chance in purchasing a CD. I suspect we'll see an explosion of new composers' works on the market in the years to come (of which I will be one!). Ultimately this will create an explosion in where classical music goes as an art form as well.
Exciting news all the way 'round.