Everybody Loves Ludwig

Via Slashdot , comes a story at the Guardian that the BBC’s free downloads of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s symphonies have become the most popular songs ever legally downloaded.


Final figures from the BBC show that the complete Beethoven symphonies on its website were downloaded 1.4m times, with individual works downloaded between 89,000 and 220,000 times. The works were each available for a week, in two tranches, in June.

What does this teach? Free music works. And Classical has proved it – the music industry is amazed by it. And scared:

Not everyone was so positive. Some from the recording industry expressed concerns that the BBC was setting itself up as unfair competition in the recording market.

Mr Cosgrove said: “I would be worried if the BBC repeated the experiment. We would take an extremely dim view if it happened repeatedly.” But, he added: “It’s caused quite a bit of controversy – but it has also provided us with an amazing piece of free market research. I don’t think anyone had any idea in their wildest dreams that there would be this level of response. Yes, the downloads were free – but if charged at a commercial rate that would have been a huge amount of revenue.”

You know what music industry? Screw you. This music is in the public domain, and you haven’t served your market for offering classical music downloads as the article says. Once again, your arrogance has failed you.

Kudo’s to the BBC – They put on the concert, broadcast, and distributed it. And consumers listened and downloaded and the BBC gained customers.

And I was one of them, I downlaoded it.

Paul Cutler
Father. Husband. Vinyl Music Lover. Football fan. Python student. He / him.