Naxos is a record company, founded in 1987 by German businessman Klaus Heymann. The original aim was to sell budget-priced classical CDs to the South-East Asian market, but the company soon expanded and is today the leading distributor of classical music in the world. They also have some jazz and a large collection of early music in the catalogue.

The company policy is to offer a one-time only fee to its artists; there are no royalties and no promotion of individual artists. This has caused some debate business practices, but there are many good artists and ensembles (many based in Eastern Europe) who are more than happy to accept these conditions. For example, Maria Kliegel is the best-selling cellist in the world thanks to Naxos, but she's virtually unheard of since they don't promote their artists the way other companies do. On the other hand, this keeps costs down and where I live a Naxos CD is usually the same quality as a 'normal' one, but costs only a third of the price.

I like Naxos. When you're starting out listening to classical music you don't know what you're going to like and you certainly don't want to blow your hard-earned cash on expensive recordings. So this format suits me like a glove.