Apple Music’s purchase of the classical music service Primephonic will give fans of the genre a richer experience, Cupertino said on Monday.
Apple said it will work to integrate the functionality of the service into a stand-alone classic app that will launch next year. The company promised high-quality sound, expert recommendations and playlists, exclusive audio content, “lots of contextual details about the repertoire and recordings” and other advanced features for classical music fans. .
An application dedicated to classic fans
The nature of classical catalogs – which can contain many recordings of a single piece, made by a wide range of performers – makes the style of music particularly difficult to manage. The purchase of Primephonic gives Apple an easy way to strengthen its classical music offering. It also gives Cupertino a head start in its battle for streaming dominance with market leader Spotify.
“We love and have a deep respect for classical music, and Primephonic has become a favorite with classical music fans,” Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music and Beats, said in a press release Monday. “Together, we are bringing classic new features to Apple Music, and in the near future, we will deliver a dedicated classic experience that will truly be the best in the world.”
Apple has not disclosed how much it paid for the Amsterdam-based service, which launched in 2018.
Primephonic gives Apple Music a classic boost
The purchase of Primephonic gives Apple an easy way to strengthen its classical music offering.
The Primephonic app allows users to “search for musicians and albums, as well as more specific metadata such as composer, conductor, soloist or choir”. PCMag wrote in 2019. “It’s this level of specificity that sets Primephonic apart. A classic piece can have up to 10 different parameters compared to the title-artist-album triad of a pop song. Spelling matters too. Although there is only one Beyoncé, there may be over 40 possible spellings of “Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky,” and the algorithms used by mainstream music streaming applications cannot handle the intricacies. “
These types of complexity make traditional management difficult for streaming services. And with Apple Music’s current focus on pop stars and playlists, the classic can be overlooked.
A small market segment
Still, the classic only made up 1% of the overall streaming market in 2018, according to Statista. Classical music also tends to attract an older and richer population.
“Most of our users are over 55 and are highly educated and relatively well off,” Primephonic CTO Henrique Boregio said in 2020. “We’re joking in the office that we don’t know if you’re starting out. love classical music and then you get rich, or the other way around.
Apple Music currently hosts “hundreds of thousands of classic albums, all in lossless, high-resolution audio, as well as hundreds of classic albums in Apple Music’s Spatial Audio, with new albums added regularly,” Apple said. .
Apple announced the shutdown of Primephonic on September 7. From now on, Primephonic will stop accepting new subscribers. Current Primephonic subscribers will get six months of free Apple Music while Apple works on the dedicated app. Primephonic said subscribers will receive pro-rated refunds in a statement posted online.