Apple Announces Its Acquisition Of Primephonic, A Classical Music Streaming Service

Apple Music announced its acquisition of Primephonic, the acclaimed classical music streaming service that offers an outstanding listening experience with search and browse functionality optimized for classical, premium-quality audio, handpicked expert recommendations, and extensive contextual details on repertoire and recordings.

With the addition of Primephonic, Apple Music subscribers will get a significantly improved classical music experience beginning with Primephonic playlists and exclusive audio content. In the coming months, Apple Music Classical fans will get “a dedicated experience with the best features of Primephonic, including better browsing and search capabilities by composer and by repertoire, detailed displays of classical music metadata, plus new features and benefits.”

“We love and have a deep respect for classical music, and Primephonic has become a fan favorite for classical enthusiasts,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “Together, we’re bringing great new classical features to Apple Music, and in the near future, we’ll deliver a dedicated classical experience that will truly be the best in the world.”

“Bringing the best of Primephonic to Apple Music subscribers is a tremendous development for the classical music industry,” said Thomas Steffens, Primephonic’s co-founder and CEO. “Artists love the Primephonic service and what we’ve done in classical, and now we have the ability to join with Apple to deliver the absolute best experience to millions of listeners. We get to bring classical music to the mainstream and connect a new generation of musicians with the next generation of audience.”

“Primephonic was founded to ensure that classical music will stay relevant for future generations,” said Gordon P. Getty, a major shareholder of Primephonic. “Primephonic and Apple together can realize that mission and take classical to a worldwide audience.”

Primephonic will no longer be available for new subscribers and will be taken offline entirely on September 7. Apple Music plans to launch a dedicated classical music app next year combining Primephonic’s classical user interface that fans have grown to love with more added features. In the meantime, “current Primephonic subscribers will receive six months of Apple Music for free, providing access to hundreds of thousands of classical albums, all in Lossless and high-resolution audio, as well as hundreds of classical albums in Apple Music’s Spatial Audio, with new albums added regularly.”

Consistent with their business plan, Apple buys dozens of companies every year which often goes under the radar, CNBC reports. The trendsetting company also acquires engineers with expertise in particular areas or to add key technology to an ongoing initiative. To expand its offerings, some of the company’s largest acquisitions have been in the music space. In 2014, Apple bought streaming music service and headphone maker Beats for $3 billion in 2014, and music-identification service Shazam for a price reportedly around $400 million in 2017. Also in 2018, it quietly bought Platoon, a service for helping users discover artists, although the purchase amount was not disclosed.

In a letter posted Monday to its website, Primephonic said that the acquisition will help it serve more classical music listeners worldwide.

“As a classical-only startup, we can not reach the majority of global classical listeners, especially those that listen to many other music genres as well,” the company said. “We therefore concluded that in order to achieve our mission, we need to partner with a leading streaming service that encompasses all music genres and also shares our love for classical music.”

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