IDAGIO is the streaming service for classical music
Introduce yourself and the startup IDAGIO to our readers!
We are Till Janczukowicz, longtime music manager of classical music stars, and Christoph Lange, previously founder of Simfy.
IDAGIO is the streaming service for classical music. Users already attest that IDAGIO has the best search for classical music. What does that mean? ‘All-genre’ streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music are inadequate for the demands of classical music, because they are only aware of three categories: Song, Artist, Album. But when Karajan conducts Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, in addition to Beethoven there is also the Ninth Symphony and Karajan himself, not to mention a soprano, an alto, a tenor, a bass, a choir and an orchestra. Who is the artist? Beethoven? Karajan? The famous soprano? And which of Karajan’s recordings is it? He has recorded the Beethoven symphonies four times… Classical music is like a system of cover versions. From one work there can be in some cases over a thousand recordings, which are all relevant to certain listeners around the world, but are almost impossible to locate by their distinguishing features.
How did the idea for IDAGIO come about and how did you get together as the founding team?
As an artist manager, I have taken care of the careers of classical stars for many years and organised worldwide concerts, as well as producing audio and visual recordings. My co-founder Christoph Lange founded simfy at a young age and consequently gained early experience with regard to audio streaming. A mutual friend had the bright idea of bringing the two of us together. Classical music is a global niche which I have helped to create in the “offline” form rather than the “online” form. I know how classical music operates in different parts of the world, but without Christoph IDAGIO wouldn’t exist. Neither he nor I could have achieved this without the skills and experience of the other.
From the original idea to the start, what were your greatest challenges and how did you finance yourselves?
From the beginning we had the absolute conviction of a global market that is digitally accessible. The great American musician Leonard Bernstein always told young musicians: “Only when you cannot sleep if you don’t make music, only if you know your life is wrong if you are not a musician, only then should you become a musician”. With IDAGIO it was similar. Gradually I became clear to me that I needed to draw the curtain on my previous professional life – to focus everything I had on IDAGIO. Therefore I financed much of the preliminary work myself, until we found – not a moment too soon – superb investors: Angels such as Macquarie Capital, b-to-v and the KfW.
Who is IDAGIO’s target group?
Ultimately, everyone who loves classical music – whether a specialist or a novice who wants to discover this wonderful world. Prior knowledge does not matter. However: to begin with we are focusing on providing a service that will excite discerning and critical aficionados. Those who already listen to their music via streaming and pay for streaming: classic lovers who arrive in the digital music world but are dissatisfied with the lack of convenience for classical listeners in all-genre services. Classical music is a worldwide cultural heritage. To make it accessible to future generations, it must be available with the same great user experience as other entertainment content.
How does IDAGIO work? What makes IDAGIO different from other streaming services?
Firstly, the best search for classical music – as attested to by our users. Secondly, Lossless-Sound: streaming in CD quality, and thirdly, special curation such as the integration from booklet-texts (coming end of Q2). The combination of these three features in an appealing and minimalistic look and feel is the foundation. Furthermore we have music experts creating meaningful and exciting playlists and we regularly recommend selected classical new releases.
What is the feedback?
All round positive – from users, musicians, orchestras and labels to the labels. From the outset, great stars in the classical scene have been helping us. This is how we launched at the Salzburg Festival in 2015. At the press conference, the Vienna Philharmonic, one of the most significant conductors and one of the most prominent singers in the world sat on the podium. They have supported our vision from the very beginning. Now more and more labels and musicians are joining us, who have seen how IDAGIO is continuing to develop. Many musicians are now making a number of their recordings available exclusively on IDAGIO. Among these musicians are the world-famous bariton Thomas Hampson, the legendary pianist Ivo Pogorelich and the Russian opera singer Maria Guleghina. In the App Store the IDAGIO iOS App is rated an average of 5 stars.
IDAGIO – what’s the next step? Where do you see yourselves in five years?
We want to offer music lovers from around the world the best streaming service for classical music and give musicians and labels the most direct access to their fans and customers. In five years we should have succeeded. Then we’ll see.
To conclude: Which three tips would you give other aspiring founders?
A renowned German journalist, who was chief editor at Stern, told me once: only if you shed tears when reading your own article after the very last correction loop, only then is it truly good. That’s how it needs to be with the idea: it must be absolutely right. Secondly, gut feeling and the ability to remain clear-headed. Thirdly, always challenge yourself.
More information you will find here
Thank you Till Janczukowicz and Christoph Lange for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.