ECM Records (Finally) Embraces Streaming

ECM Records announces:

Over the past week we have begun the process of entering the world of streaming, and from November 17th, the full ECM catalogue will be available to subscribers to services including Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal and Qobuz. This simultaneous launch across the platforms — facilitated by a new digital distribution agreement with Universal Music — invites listeners to explore the wide range of music recorded by our artists in the course of nearly five decades of independent production.

Although ECM’s preferred mediums remain the CD and LP, the first priority is that the music should be heard. The physical catalogue and the original authorship are the crucial references for us: the complete ECM album with its artistic signature, best possible sound quality, sequence and dramaturgy intact, telling its story from beginning to end.

In recent years, ECM and the musicians have had to face unauthorized streaming of recordings via video sharing websites, plus piracy, bootlegs, and a proliferation of illegal download sites. It was important to make the catalogue accessible within a framework where copyrights are respected.

This is a big deal; they were one of the last major holdouts to music streaming. (The other large independent label that still doesn’t stream is Hyperion Records.)

I’d often said that I’d pay $5 a month to be able to stream ECM’s catalog; they have a wonderful collection of jazz recordings, in a certain style, and some excellent classical recordings as well. The main attractions are jazz pianist Keith Jarrett and classical composer Arvo Pärt, along with Steve Reich, Pat Metheny, and many others.

I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.