As you may have noticed, the Berlin Philharmonic now issues recordings on its own label. Unlike other major orchestras (think of the LSO), the BPO has opted for a high-price/"deluxe-quality" strategy. Instead of a mere CD in a plastic case, you get blue-ray DVD extras, "master" recordings, suede-covered coffee-table booklets etc.......To give an example of the pricing: the 9 Beethoven symphonies conducted by Rattle are offered for 69 euros.
I am not absolutely convinced that this is a strategy which can yield very much profit, but that may not be the point. The BPO may well have told themselves that, since the market is already saturated with cheap high-quality recordings, they had nothing to gain by doing the same. Instead of generating revenue, the point may well be to reinforce the prestige and dazzle of the brand. Even if no-one actually buys these products, there may be a pay-off further down the line in terms of brand image, ticket sales and so on. Possibly, the whole thing simply makes the orchestral members feel good about themselves. Possibly, they are the ones who actually buy them.
Now, however, they have gone one step further: the BPO have just announced that they are issuing a limited set of Brahms symphony recordings under Simon Rattle on vinyl. Now just any old vinyl recording, however, but a special kind resulting from an "end-to-end" analogue process which was used to capture a live recording in 2014.........Each one numbered, with hand-signed certificates from the recording engineer, a presentation box with accompanying booklet etc
Can you guess how much? Four Brahms symphonies on vinyl, plus all the extra "goodies"?