X5, which specializes in curating genre compilations for the digital format, continues to sign up labels to broaden its musical scope. In its latest signings, the New York-based operation of the Stockholm, Sweden-based label announced that it had cut catalog deals with Alligator Records, Highway 87 Records, Nacional Records and Six Degrees Records, broadening its thrust into the blues, latin and world music categories.
Previously, X5, which began life issuing classical music compilations, had signed Cooking Vinyl, OneRPM, Sun Records and the Welk Music Group.
"We are starting to fill out the different genres, which means we can now make incredible compilations," according to Scott Ambrose Reilly, president of U.S. operations. "For example, Welk and Cooking Vinyl have a lot of good world music that will match up well with the Six Degrees catalog."
By putting together different digital compilation albums by genre, "we are trying to solve the problem for the customers and the labels," Reilly says. "We think we are a great intersection for them."
Furthermore, Reilly points out that the labels signed so far "are run by esteemed entreprenuers, who are trusting that we will find more consumers and turn them onto these great catalogs."
Moreover, Reilly says that he thinks the opportunity to score with genre compilations in other categories like blues and world is just as strong as the demand for classical compilations turned out to be five years ago, which helped build the X5 brand.
Reilly acknowledges that other labels have tried to compete in X5's space but so far, "they miss. There are a lot of parts to this and while they might figure out one or two, they don't realize how much work and study goes into getting 5 or 7 components right."
X5 generally takes a genre like video game music or classical music and when shoppers imput those genres into a search on an online music store, it generally takes them to a page that has a bunch of classical titles, which includes an X5 title like "The Greatest Video Game Music," or "The 50 Most Essential Pieces of Classical Music." The former so far has been rewarded with sales, respectively, of 56,000 units since its Nov. 8, 2011 release; while the latter has sales of 178,000 since its Oct. 21, 2008 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
X5 hopes to duplicate that success with other genres, Reilly says.