Deutsche Grammophon has launched Stage+, a classical music subscription service, featuring livestreams, a video archive and new audio releases.
Subscribers will have access to exclusive live premieres; long-form concert and opera programmes; music videos; documentaries and behind-the-scenes interviews; new audio releases, as well as albums from the Deutsche Grammophon and Decca catalogues. This content will all be made available in the highest possible quality, including Hi-Res and Dolby Atmos.
Thanks to partnerships with leading international opera companies, orchestras, concert halls and festivals, Stage+ will be able to showcase new performances every week. Bayreuth will be one of the festivals initially featured, with a comprehensive selection of performances from several decades, ranging from the 2022 Ring cycle to the “Centenary Ring”.
The first premiere stream on the platform sees Vikingur Olafsson performing music from his latest album, From Afar, in full from Harpa, Iceland, and further content in the first few weeks includes Bach’s Christmas Oratorio performed at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, Max Richter’s Voices from Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on Human Rights Day and a Mahler cycle from Vienna’s Musikverein.
The curated live and video-on-demand streams will also include Deutsche Grammophon’s Yellow Lounge classical club nights across the globe, a Rising Stars series and performances at World Heritage Sites such as the Forbidden City, Sistine Chapel and the neolithic settlement of Carnac in France.
Universal Music Group described the platform as a “step change in the audio-visual presentation of classical music online”.
“We are about to enter an exciting new era for streamed classical performances,” said Deutsche Grammophon’s vice president consumer business, Robert Zimmermann. “Stage+ will explore the limitless creative and curatorial possibilities that digital technologies have to offer to bring the creative work of DG’s artists – and beyond – closer to their audience.”
Dickon Stainer, president and CEO of Global Classics & Jazz and Verve Label Group, said: “Stage+ uniquely immerses the fan in a dedicated multi-dimensional classical experience of the highest quality, complementing the breadth of our repertoire presented on our partners’ services. It offers artists the place for their live and filmed performances to sit directly alongside their studio recordings, enabling an integrated experience for classical artist discovery by devoted fans of the genre.”
Optimised metadata will enable classical fans to search via title and access individual works, movements or opera scenes, with every search linked to all relevant audio and video content available for any particular artist, composer, work, venue or partner organisation. Users will be able to save favourites and download content to mobile devices for offline viewing or listening.
The platform will be available as a TV, mobile and web app to Stage+ subscribers, with many videos offered in 4K resolution and Dolby Atmos. Audio content will be in Hi-Res Lossless format, virtually indistinguishable from the original studio recording.
This innovation marks a new chapter in the label’s history, as the world’s oldest record label, founded in 1898 in Hanover by Emil Berliner, the inventor of the gramophone. The technology company Siemens and its Arts Program will be a partner and supporter of Stage+.
Dr Clemens Trautmann, president Deutsche Grammophon, said: “We want to revolutionise the way people access classical music and, working together with our wonderful partners and family of musicians, bring them the very best of what the art form has to offer. Our artists’ initial feedback on Stage+ has been incredibly positive, as this is the first service where their stage life and media output can be presented comprehensively in one place. In 2023 DG will be celebrating its 125th anniversary, and Stage+ is the latest example of the creative and innovative thinking that has been the hallmark of the label since its foundation.”
“There’s an enormous appetite for great classical music content online,” said Frank Briegmann, chairman & CEO Universal Music Central Europe & Deutsche Grammophon. “We’ve seen significant growth in demand for livestreamed concerts and opera performances since launching DG Stage almost two years ago. Stage+ will transform the space for online classical music. I wish to thank our incredible team and our partner organisations for all their hard work and dedication to Stage+. They have built something special that’s sure to delight and inspire the global classical audience.”