Sony Launches Ariama Classical Retail Site With Some Features Others Should Copy

image from thehiphopupdate.com Sony Music Entertainment continues its campaign to drive purchases back to its own branded retail outlets with the launch in public beta for Ariama.com, their new classical music online store. 50 major and independent labels are selling CDs, MP3s and lossless digital downloads.  In addition to offering a mix of physical and digital goods in one place, what sets Ariama apart are powerful each and discovery tools designed specifically for the needs of classical music shoppers.

A rich search function extends beyond the limited track/artist/album filter options and offers users the ability to browse and filter music by important elements like composition, period, instrumentation, conductor, ensemble, and solo.

"We are thrilled to announce the beta launch of Ariama.com," said Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business, US Sales, and Corporate Strategy, Sony Music Entertainment. "We think classical consumers are an important under-served segment of the music buying population," said Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business, US Sales, and Corporate Strategy, Sony Music Entertainment. "We have designed Ariama as the answer for fans experiencing an increasingly difficult time finding compelling retail options for classical CDs and downloads."

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  1. Optimistic press release aside (which hypebot willingly swallows), this is a terrible idea with lots of roadkill as precedents. Will shut down in 6 months.

  2. I – who wrote the article – believe that the labels should have gone direct to fan a long time ago.
    Curious why – specifically – its a bad idea.

  3. There’s plenty of examples in the dance genre (Traxsource, Beatport, Juno) which shows consumers are ready and willing to buy somewhere else with a better buying, browsing and editorial experience than Amazon, iTunes, et al)

  4. When has a label sponsored download retail site succeeded? there certainly have been attempts… Pressplay, SonyConnect, UMG Classics&Jazz, etc. Yes, it can work on a small scale for small labels, but extremely difficult on bigger platform. It requires marketing, attention, retail experience, etc.; the bigger labels have not yet proven they have the attention span (and long term funding) to make this work. The margins for an a la carte store are challenging at best. The costs of running a download store are likely the same whether you’re selling one genre or 10 genres.
    And a classical store specifically? This has worked for dance, but classical is different. The classical market of record sales is tiny. The bulk of those customers only buy physical product. The rest of the market is made up of casual classical customers who aren’t going to flock to a entirely new store only to buy music. They will continue to buy at the stores where they buy the rest of their music.
    I’m not saying there’s room for a better buying experience (god knows this is especially the truth for classical), but a stand alone digital store for classical music is an extremely dodgy investment and Sony will quickly lose patience with this.

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