Widening its business network, the IMZ is joined by the Audiovisual Division / Naxos Deutschland, a 360° service company for the audiovisual-performing arts industry. Find out more about Naxos in this interview with Klaus Heyman, Founder and Head of the Naxos record label and Chairman of the Naxos Music Group.

  • Tianwa Yang, Exclusive artist at Naxos and multiple ECHO Klassik laureate | Copyright: © Friedrun Reinhold

    Tianwa Yang, Exclusive artist at Naxos and multiple ECHO Klassik laureate © Friedrun Reinhold

  • Klaus Heyman, Founder and Head of the Naxos record label and Chairman of the Naxos Music Group. | Copyright: © NAXOS

    Klaus Heyman, Founder and Head of the Naxos record label and Chairman of the Naxos Music Group. © NAXOS

  • Erwin Stürzer, General Manager Naxos Audiovisual Division | Copyright: © NAXOS

    Erwin Stürzer, General Manager Naxos Audiovisual Division © NAXOS

  • Matthias Lutzweiler, CEO Naxos Germany | Copyright: © NAXOS

    Matthias Lutzweiler, CEO Naxos Germany © NAXOS


    © NAXOS

As a full service company, Naxos’ divisions range from logistics to distribution - physical and digital – as well as education and subscription platforms. Outlining the driving passion behind the brand, the market strategy and business outlook of this 360° service company, the IMZ speaks to Klaus Heyman, Founder and Head of the Naxos record label and Chairman of the Naxos Music Group.

Mr. Heyman, welcome to the IMZ!
Naxos has been present at Avant Première 2016, what made you become an IMZ Member afterwards?

Klaus Heymann (KH): We have been aware of IMZ and Avant Premiere for a long time, since our company distributes most DVD labels. We decided to become a member because our company has become more involved in the visual side of classical music through our acquisition of Dynamic and our worldwide distribution deal with Bel Air. And certainly, as our plans develop, we will be happy to present a Naxos showreel at the Avant Première Screenings in due course.

What business opportunities are you looking for among the IMZ community?

KH: For us, the IMZ is an ideal platform to meet and communicate to our partners about new projects and new products. We see IMZ as a good opportunity for networking within the classical audiovisual community. We need to be up-to-date on the latest developments in our industry – new platforms, new formats, active and passive licensing opportunities and much more.

Will participants have the chance to get in touch with Naxos at Avant Première 2017?

KH: Yes, a representative of our company will definitely attend – I personally will not be able to because I will be in New Zealand on a working holiday at that time of the year.

Since its foundation in 1987 Naxos has been leading in making classical music available to wider audiences. What drives you to do this and what is your strategy?

KH: Naxos started out as a budget CD label and has now become the most important service provider to the classical music industry, especially independent classical CD and DVD labels. I am personally a classical music lover and have always believed that it is our responsibility not only to make money but to promote the classical music to new audiences through attractive programming and pricing and through education.

The overall strategy today is to provide a 360° service to our industry, from logistics and physical distribution to digital distribution and operation of our own subscription platforms, especially the highly successful Naxos Music Library and the Naxos Video Library .

From a classical record label in 1987 Naxos has become a global enterprise in distributing classical music. Can you outline your individual divisions as well as their products and services?

KH: We have distribution subsidiaries in North America, Scandinavia, the UK, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan. We have a logistics centre, NGL, in Munich handling the logistics of our own and of many independent CD and DVD labels. Our US subsidiary handles the digital distribution of most independent classical labels. We also operate specialised subscription streaming platforms focusing on classical music, jazz, world music, audiovisual classical music and spoken word, including a high-resolution platform ClassicsOnline using adaptive bit rate technology. We are also developing two separate database platforms, one for musical works the other for recordings of classical music.

You hold a music catalogue of over 120.000 recordings from 800 labels. How about your music video catalogue?

KH: These 120,000 recordings from 800 labels are part of our Naxos Music Library -- they are not owned or controlled by our company although we handle the digital and physical distribution of most of these labels. We also own the Dynamic catalogue of music video recordings and distribute the Bel Air catalogue exclusively worldwide. Naxos itself has a small catalogue of audiovisual recordings as well as more than 100 hours of Musical Journeys, offering visual interpretations of the most important works of classical music. However, we plan to invest in growing our own catalogue also.

Digital vs. physical. Where do audiences head to when it comes to consuming classical music?

KH: The direction in which the market will develop is already clear – worldwide physical sales of audio and audiovisual sound carriers are declining and digital consumption, primarily streaming is growing. The decline takes place at different rates in different countries – faster in the United States, more slowly in the UK, Japan and Germany. The main problem of the audiovisual producers is that there is no digital equivalent of iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify or Amazon which could compensate for the loss of revenue from physical sales. On the audio side the growth in revenue from streaming already more than compensates for the decline in physical revenue. The audiovisual industry does not have that kind of revenue yet. Also, the decline in the linear television revenue is not yet being compensated for by video-on-demand revenue.

2016 and 2017 are both anniversary years for you.
What do you celebrate?

KH: In October 2016 I celebrated my 80th birthday and in May 2017 Naxos will celebrate its 30th birthday – together 110 years of classical music.

Thank you for the interview.

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