“The Scandinavian digital music trailblazer”
X5 Music, the Scandinavian “digital music trailblazer” – to quote Wall Street Journal – was founded in 2005, with a strategy to be the new, innovative music label that would identify untapped revenue opportunities for a music industry in decline. The original X5 team all had backgrounds in music, as producers/musicians/entrepreneurs. But no one had worked on a record company. Possibly a key reason why the successful case project ended up being in a field that one hardly associates with quick music industry buck – classical music.
2004 Apple launched its digital music store iTunes, and it revolutionized how music was being sold. This also became the onset of X5’s new focus – digital music distribution. The observation behind the start-up of X5 Music Group was a simple, but at the time usually contested, mantra: “There must be more consumer friendly ways to distribute music than illegal downloading.” Encouraged by an iTunes presentation at a European music market the young X5 Music bought their first mechanical music rights. A classical catalogue recorded by a German company behind the Eastern Bloc in the 50’s.
Following this, X5 became music distributors, but more importantly, began re-compiling the music into new, attractive products. This has been the signature of X5 Music ever since; Compelling products tailor-made for the end consumer.
“What is a great legacy of humankind tends to belong to a more exclusive enclave of listeners. In the age of digital music this need no longer be the case”.
From that point onward the music catalog has been steadily growing, and today X5 Music sits on top of around 400 000 recordings, all from a wide variety of labels, independent as well as the Majors.
One of the very first X5 compilations, “The 50 Most Essential Pieces of Classical Music” climbed high on both the iTunes and Billboard classical charts in 2008. This event heralded that the startup period of X5 Music was soon to be over. As of summer 2016 X5 Music is a part of Warner Music Group.