ECM Records commences streaming

Gramophone Fri 17th November 2017

Having long resisted streaming services the ECM Records catalogue is now available on Spotify, Apple Music, Qobuz and more

The entire recording catalogue of ECM Records, including the ECM New Series imprint, is now available to enjoy on streaming platforms worldwide. Curated by Manfred Eicher, the ECM label is renowned for its acclaimed recordings featuring music and performances by the likes of Arvo Pärt, András Schiff, Steve Reich, Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek, among many others, and was named Label of the Year at the 2009 Gramophone Awards. The new availability of the ECM catalogue on streaming services – including Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Qobuz and Tidal – comes as a result of an expanded distribution partnership with Universal Music Group, which owns the Deutsche Grammophon and Decca labels.

Clemens Trautmann, President of Deutsche Grammophon said: 'I would like to thank Manfred Eicher for placing his trust in Universal Music Group and Deutsche Grammophon. Myself, my team and my colleagues around the world are delighted to work on bringing the precious ECM catalogue to digital platforms.'

Until today, ECM was one of the most high-profile of classical labels to resist releasing their catalogue on streaming services, another being Hyperion. In a 2015 interview with Gramophone, Hyperion's Chief Executive Simon Perry set out his view of the challanges streaming posed his label, saying that if Hyperion started 'offering our recordings on streaming services for virtually no financial return, and the majority of people decide that that's how they wish to consume music in the future, then I can't see where the income will come from to pay for all the new recordings.’

In the official statement from the ECM Press Office, however, the label addresses the format issue, making its preference for physical media explicit: 'Although ECM’s preferred mediums remain the CD and LP, the first priority is that the music should be heard. The physical catalogue and the original authorship are the crucial references for us: the complete ECM album with its artistic signature, best possible sound quality, sequence and dramaturgy intact, telling its story from beginning to end. In recent years, ECM and the musicians have had to face unauthorized streaming of recordings via video-sharing sites, plus piracy, bootlegs, and a proliferation of illegal download sites. It was important to make the catalogue accessible within a framework where copyrights are respected.'

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