April 13 - Tower Records was the leading outlet for deep-catalog classical music and a favorite place to discover new artists and recordings. But the company's recent demise makes it even harder for classical fans to find the music they're looking for and, more importantly, to discover new music.
Amazon has announced an ambitious plan to fill this void and become the dominant retailer of classical music. The site now offers more than 100,000 titles, a classical "Blowout" section where shoppers can find many classical titles for under $10 (with many titles priced at just $4.99), and a Discover Music Corner that educates listeners with audio "tutorials" on artists, composers, and musical genres, accompanied by musical excerpts.
Classical music sales increased last year by 22.5%, after a 15% decline the previous year. Record companies and retailers are showing renewed interest in serving the classical-music buyer because they actually buy CDs rather than download them from the Internet, and are less likely to engage in file-sharing.