It surprised me a little that the demise of UMG’s entry-level platform to Classical Music – SINFINI – caused hardly a ripple when it was announced in December 2015 its activities would be wound down.
In fact so little a ripple was created, I missed the announcement altogether.
When Sinfini launched in 2012; created by outgoing UMG Chairman and Chief Executive Max Hole, I was highly critical of the entire enterprise being in agreement with music critic Igor Toronyi-Lalic’s view of Sinfini’s “ingratiating tweeness”. I have since changed my mind.
The Classical Music business is a very poor business indeed. It suffers unheralded ignominies by its gatekeepers – the few remaining multinational record companies – because of its inability to make them vast revenues quickly. Classical music product is extremely expensive to make (I know!); takes months or even years to plan and execute, only to be ever so quickly consigned to the 50% off ‘Sale’ bin ( if you remember when there were actual record stores?)
If there are real heroes in this ugly business, it is the niche, independent boutique record companies that are keeping the patient alive (if only barely). But, the unpalatable truth is that the record companies simply don’t care because of the sheer size of their legacy and back catalog of classical music already recorded able to be repackaged and re-issued, ad infinitum, in any applicable technical format of the day.
What has this to do with Sinfini? Continue Reading →