Netflix launches classical music in the Netherlands


Dutch video-streaming entrepreneurs Henk Bot and Bok Freiburg are at the origin of an ambitious new streaming service: Symphony, which they call themselves “Netflix of symphonic classical music”.

This online service aims to open the world of Beethoven, Mahler, John Williams and other great composers to a large audience. Symphony has been in beta testing in a limited number of countries since June. Saturday 24th September is the official opening of the international current of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

symphony It will soon contain the most comprehensive collection of symphonic performances, from Mozart’s piano concerts to Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Mahler symphonies and dozens of films by composers such as John Williams and Ennio Morricone.

All participating orchestras – now about ten, the target is 25 – will each broadcast four concerts a year under the title Symphony Night Live. Full recordings with interviews, behind the scenes, stories and commentary by experts.

Music lovers are usually not taken hands or advised to choose music. That’s exactly what Symphony will do. The subscriber gets a front row seat, but he also gets a pass behind the scenes: for compelling stories behind the music and exclusive interviews with soloists and conductors.

The founders of Symphony are all of Dutch descent. Rob Offerman, former orchestra director and media entrepreneur, came up with the concept with Henk Bout, founder of the Netherlands’ largest video production company United Broadcast Facility (now: EMG) and streaming services operator BeyondDutch. The team was completed by the arrival of Jose Evers, Brand Strategist and former partner of advertising agency XXS Amsterdam and Bauke Freiburg of Amsterdam digital creative agency Videodock.

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The symphony began approaching the orchestra two years ago. Meanwhile, the Okests testified that although they can put beautiful recordings online, it is very difficult to cover the costs from online ticket sales. An unimportant part of the collaboration is that half of the revenue from the streaming service flows to the orchestra.

Currently participating: The Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra de Montreal, Czech Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Tonhal Orchestra Zurich, and Budapest Festival Orchestra. More orchestras will follow this fall.

Thanks to fourteen Dutch investors, about thirty people now work in the startup. Beta testing has been conducted in a limited number of countries since June. On September 24, Symphony will go live in the Netherlands, Sweden and a slew of English-speaking countries: the UK, the US, Canada and Australia. Other countries will follow suit in early 2023.

Subscriber costs 9.95 euros per month.

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