The Berliner Philharmoniker approached me for help with their recording strategy. Sir Simon Rattle’s exclusive contract with EMI was nearing the end of its term, and the orchestra were exploring their options for recording. My brief was to help the orchestra decide what form a successful own-label might take by giving them a better understanding of the sales potential of the orchestra’s recordings in each territory and likely future trends as well the economics of conventional distribution vs. a variety of direct-to-consumer models.
I provided the orchestra with international sales data and case studies of sales trends for other artists leaving major labels to sell their own recordings. I supplied sample deal terms for third-party fulfilment services and example margin breakdowns for a variety of scenarios, along with a huge amount of supporting reference material. This helped the orchestra make an informed decision about the best way to move forward.
In April 2014, the orchestra launched Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, becoming the first major orchestra to launch a label primarily distributing products direct to consumers around the world.