How to Save Record Labels
Lessons from a tiny Swedish firm that's raked in $10M
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 4, 2011 8:25 AM CDT
One of X5's hit albums.   (

(Newser) – As the music industry navigates a path for the digital era, a tiny Swedish label has proven itself an excellent guide. Though it has just 43 employees, X5 Music Group topped the classical charts last year, its sales on par with Universal, the biggest label there is. Its strategy is a novel one: With no CDs, no contracts with artists, and no new music to offer, it focuses its efforts entirely on the Internet, the Wall Street Journal reports.

X5 licenses classical catalogs from other small firms and combines them into greatest-hits-style albums—very big ones. Albums such as “The 99 Most Essential Chopin Masterpieces” are compiled by crunching the pieces’ sales figures. The company designs album covers that look good as thumbnails, and uses search-friendly titles, often including the word “classical.” X5 albums are sold exclusively through online shops like Amazon, and they frequently go for less than $8. The strategy seems to be working: X5 pulled in $10 million last year, and is set to grow by 50% in 2011. Click for more on the little label that could.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Sep 4, 2011 11:39 AM CDT
I hate humanity for what it has done in the last decade. Why have we came obsessed with shifting things onto the Internet or "the cloud"?, what's the point? Why own a massive music, or literary collection when it can be deleted with the flick of a switch in California? Why not instead just buy something that is "real" where you can touch and feel it, then when you buy it you actually know it's yours; you OWN something and can keep it for one-hundred years if wished so.
Sep 4, 2011 9:50 AM CDT
You very carefully soak them off the LP in warm distilled water, and when they float free pick them up on a flat screen and allow to drain and dry then press them between non-acid leaves in a press. VOILA' Your label is saved!!!
Sep 4, 2011 9:24 AM CDT
Off topic for music-heads: a sweet, sweet track by the South African group Freshlyground. (What a voice!)