Per a press release posted to ECM Records’ official website, beginning today, the label’s entire catalogue will be available to subscribers of music-streaming services including Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal and Qobuz. The transition was made possible through a new digital distribution agreement with Universal Music, the company that distributes ECM recordings in the U.S.
ECM recordings have been highly sought after by collectors of jazz, classical and new music—the result of a purposefully curated artist roster; a trademark clarity in production; and sleek minimalist cover art. The label, founded by Manfred Eicher in 1969, has been viewed within the jazz industry as a holdout against the controversial practice of streaming. “Although ECM’s preferred mediums remain the CD and LP, the first priority is that the music should be heard,” the official statement reads. “The physical catalogue and the original authorship are the crucial references for us: the complete ECM album with its artistic signature, best possible sound quality, sequence and dramaturgy intact, telling its story from beginning to end.
“In recent years, ECM and the musicians have had to face unauthorized streaming of recordings via video-sharing websites, plus piracy, bootlegs and a proliferation of illegal download sites. It was important to make the catalogue accessible within a framework where copyrights are respected.”