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Apple Acquires Classical Music Streaming Service Primephonic

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Apple today announced that it has acquired Primephonic, an Amsterdam-based classical musical streaming service. Primephonic, which was launched in 2014, is now being acquired by Apple in a bid to focus on a music genre that’s been lacking in Apple Music’s generalized approach to streaming.

On September 7, Primephonic will officially shut down, paving the way for Apple to launch the classical music app based on its streaming service in 2022.

“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,” Primephonic co-founder and CEO Thomas Steffens said in a release issued by Apple. “We get to bring classical music to the mainstream and connect a new generation of musicians with the next generation of audience.” 

According to Primephonic’s CTO, the service has been launched in over 150 countries. It also appears to have an older demographic than more generalized streaming services.

“Most of our users are age 55 plus and are highly educated and relatively well off,” Henrique Boregio told Mixpanel in 2020. “We joke in the office that we don’t know whether you start liking classical music and then you become wealthy, or if it’s the other way around.”

Apple notes of the upcoming offering, “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.”

The company is offering an olive branch to existing Primephonic users in the form of six free months of Apple Music.

Since launching Apple Music in 2015, Apple has made a few acquisitions to bolster the service. It bought Shazam, a music recognition app, in 2018, letting customers identify songs and add them to their playlists. But Apple has faced fierce competition from Spotify in streaming music around the world.

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