The Internet’s $10 Million Mix Tapes

Published on August 31, 2011
by Ethan Smith

As the music industry struggles to find its way in the digital era, it is seeing unlikely trailblazers in the likes of Beethoven, Mozart and Bach.

Last year, the classical-music charts were dominated by two distribution companies: the world’s largest record label and a five-year-old, Stockholm-based digital company with 43 employees, no performers under contract and virtually no profile in the broader music business.

The contrast between the giant Universal Music Group and the tiny X5 Music Group AB offers insight into the future of music distribution.

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