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Naxos launches online world music streaming service

Classical music specialist Naxos has launched Naxos Music Library World, an online collection of thousands of world and traditional music recordings from the past 70 years available for streaming.

NMLW is described as "the most comprehensive online World Music library available, with music from more than 150 countries and 1,500 cultural groups".

The bulk of the offering comes from Washington, DC-based Smithsonian Folkways, the non-profit label part of the Smithsonian Institution, which has garnered a vast collection of recordings of traditional American music as well as music from around the world. Labels such as ARC, Warner, Sony, Naxos World, and dozens of other smaller independent labels also contributed content to NMLW.

NMLW is mostly targeted at educational institutions and musicologists as well as individuals interested in music from around the world and trad music.

Consumers can access the service online and chose various subscription options. For individuals, the standard subscription is $14 per month (or $140 per annum), and the Premium Quality subscription is $21 per month (or $210 for a full year).

Naxos Music Library World adds to other Naxos online libraries, including Naxos Music Library, Naxos Music Library Jazz, Naxos Video Library, Naxos Spoken Word Library, and Naxos Works Database. As a group, Naxos Music Libraries include more than 1.75 million tracks, a number that increases by 1,000 tracks a day.

The Naxos World Music Library gives subscribers the full liner notes to accompany the streaming tracks and provides searches by label, country, date, and a range of other key factors. “We put labels at the forefront of the service, in a different way to organize compared to other streaming services, which are artist driven,” said Nick D'Angiolillo, Naxos director of licensing. “It is a very conscious decision.”

Naxos relies on over 35 musicologists to work on the metadata and the information that accompanies recordings. “Our musicological team morphed from our own in-house experts, when we started creating the data,” said Jeff Van Driel, CEO of Naxos in America. “We’ve become extremely adept at this, and we are often hired by other labels to clean up their metadata, especially for classical works.”

“Because of our work on the data set, our libraries are leaps and bounds ahead of anything else out there,” added D’Angiolillo. “It can be used as a research or business tool, as you can quickly and easily cross search and find multiple recordings of same work, view everything on a single label’s roster, and access all the booklets for the recordings in one place.”