NMC holds a distinctive position in the recording industry: we are both a record label and a registered charity.
At first glance, this may seem a fairly unusual business model for a record label. However, for NMC it enables us to fulfil a vitally important role in the classical music industry that traditional models would restrict. We are able to act as an advocator and promoter of high quality new music that may otherwise not be given the life it deserves due to its commercial viability.
Whilst NMC does earn income in the usual way from the sale of CDs, downloads and streaming, being a charitable organisation allows us to fundraise like other charities do. This means we can work towards our mission by taking on projects based on their artistic merit, without the overwhelming influence of sales potential and the restrictions that may come from relying solely on commercial income. NMC raises funds each year from:
- public sources, such as Arts Council England
- charitable trusts and foundations
- individual donors and supporters
Generating and supporting new audiences for contemporary music is an important aspect of our work too, and the coming year will see a raft of new education projects and resources for young people to support this. We also collaborate with artistic organisations and charitable partners on special projects, such as our 2015 project with Aurora Orchestra and the Science Museum Objects at an Exhibition, allowing us to reach new people and expand public interest in contemporary music on a wider scale.
What does being a charity mean?
All of NMC’s activities are guided by our charitable objectives, and enable us to share exceptional new music that inspires and challenges audiences. These objectives are:
- to produce high quality recordings of outstanding work by composers from the British Isles
- to work with leading artists and ensembles to promote these recordings
- to expand worldwide audiences for contemporary music
- to preserve this creativity for generations to come
What makes NMC essential?
Our charitable status enables our non-deletions policy. This means all our recordings remain permanently available in digital and physical formats, and creates a living, ever-expanding archive of new music from the British Isles that is accessible at all times. We provide the crucial link in the chain that ensures investment in commissioning and premiering new works leads to an international listenership, and a long-lasting legacy for new music.
Although the music NMC releases isn’t necessarily commercial that doesn’t mean there isn’t a growing, receptive audience. Engagement with NMC’s work grows every year, and with increasing use of digital technology we have been able to reach more ears than ever before. In 2016 alone we were able to promote the work of over 300 composers across nearly 150 territories, generating 1.5 million downloads/streams and 4,500 physical album sales, with 30% of CD sales and 70% of streams from audiences outside of the UK.
Our extensive reach and the level of active engagement with the recordings we release highlight just how important NMC is to enabling composers’ work is heard across the globe, cementing our reputation as a living archive of contemporary music. Our achievements and support for composers is made possible through our status as a charity, and with the help of our many supporters, donors, customers and advocates.
- If you are interested in supporting the charitable work of NMC, head to the Support Us section to find out more.
- Discover more about our forthcoming Education projects here.
- You can explore our back catalogue and recent releases, as well as delve into the Music Map.
- Contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.