X5 Music Group, the pioneer Scandinavian digital music label, announces the launch of its innovative and highly profitable business model in the US, led by several key architects of the digital music revolution. X5 has confirmed a deal with Naxos Records, the world's leading classical music label. With this first domestic deal signed, and several more to be announced soon, X5 is set to recreate its Scandinavian success in the US by radically shifting the way digital music is packaged, sold, and enjoyed.
Today the Wall Street Journal spotlighted X5 Music Group in a huge Marketplace section cover story, calling it one of the "unlikely trailblazers...[offering] insight into the future of music distribution,” stating that “few [music companies] if any have designed their businesses around digital sales the way X5 has” and pointing out that it has “adapted to the digital era in ways that create significant opportunities for growth.”
Click here to read today's Wall Street Journal feature, online version (http://bit.ly/p9GHxf
) or print version (http://bit.ly/rc9edP
By focusing on back catalogs and creating custom compilations and marketing concepts tailor-made for the digital marketplace, X5 has found a way to increase digital sales enough to outpace the ongoing loss of physical sales worldwide. This new model unlocks the full revenue potential previously left untapped by companies that focus on new releases and physical goods, or that simply re-release digital albums in the exact form they first appeared on vinyl or CD - "Digital 1.0."
CEO Johan Lagerlof calls the X5 approach "Digital 2.0.” This is the strategy that has allowed X5 to dominate the US classical charts since 2009. 13 of its albums placed on Billboard’s 2010 year-end Classical Albums chart, compared to 7 from Sony and 2 from Warner Music. X5's "50 Most Essential Classical Pieces" has remained #1 on iTunes' Classical chart for more than a year, and since 2008, X5 has had 24 digital-only albums place on Billboard's Top 200 chart. Just last year, X5 brought in over $10 million in US revenue. X5, along with Spotify, is one of two new music entities funded by Northzone Ventures.
X5 in the United States is headed by a select group of experts at the forefront of digital music's most revolutionary advances over the last two decades. This team includes Scott Ambrose Reilly, who launched Amazon's initial MP3 effort and is now heading X5's US expansion; Dan Pifer, who ran operations for digital pioneers eMusic, The Orchard and Rightsflow; and Griff Morris, a key player in building the world's largest DRM-free catalog at Amazon Music and a former Vice President at National Academy of Recording Arts & Science.
For more info on X5's team, click here: http://bit.ly/r6L8Pd
"In Sweden, X5 proved that the Digital 2.0 model works with classical music. We feel that we've just tapped the surface of revenue that can be generated from digital music and back catalogs, and by hiring an experienced team to lead the US launch, we now have the best chance to fulfill the potential of 'Digital 2.0' and expand X5's success into other genres," Reilly said.
ABOUT: X5 Music Group ( http://www.x5musicgroup.com/
) is a leader in digital music, having pioneered a new sales and promotion model that has met with considerable international success including 13 Billboard 200 debuts in the US and a lock on Amazon's top classical music downloads chart. They are currently embarking on a major expansion in the US, opening an office headquartered in the Empire State Building.