Naxos: Low Cost as the Path to Profits?

Budget classical CD label Naxos is slowly changing the world of classical music. Their market share is huge, many of their recordings are excellent, and they offer a great deal of diversity. The players and conductors are not stars, but are competent if not outstanding. Naxos credits their success to several factors:

We don’t release endless version of the same work.

We don’t waste money on expensive promotion of ‘crossover’ titles.

We don’t spend money on elaborate sleeve designs. Our CDs are simple and clear.

We concentrate on the best music, not on personalities.

Finally, we sell a lot of CDs. Naxos is the leading classical music label in the world, with a growing market share in many countries. A list of Naxos’s estimated market shares today in select territories is: UK (15%), Finland (40%), Sweden (50%), Norway (50%), Denmark (30%), Canada (25%), Greece (45%), South Africa (45%), Spain (20%) and Germany (20%). In the United States, Soundscan lists Naxos as the leading independent classical music label. By controlling our costs and selling so many CDs we are able to maintain our low price whilst offering the finest quality.

Perhaps the only “flaw” in their model is that they do not pay royalties, but given today’s market realities of a huge supply and limited demand, maybe that’s just business.

A number of articles have covered the Naxos phenomenon in one way or another:
Hitting a Wrong Note?
The World’s Leading Classical Music Label
Amazing Stuff
Naxos at 15
naxos Makes Sweet Profits from No-Frills Music