Apple to launch classical music subscription platform

(AFP) – Apple announced Monday the acquisition of the platform specializing in classical music Primephonic and plans to launch an application dedicated to this genre next year, a first for the Apple brand whose musical offering was up to here concentrated in Apple Music.

Asked by AFP about the purchase price of Primephonic, Apple declined to comment.

Launched in 2018, the Dutch-American Primephonic is an alternative to the major online music streaming services, which offers better sound quality and a richer and better indexed classic catalog.

Thomas Steffens, CEO and co-founder of Primephonic, had never made a secret of his ambition to see his platform bought by one of the giants of the sector.

As of Monday, the service is no longer accepting new subscribers and will go to sleep on September 7, according to a statement released on Monday. Primephonic subscribers will be offered a free six-month subscription to Apple Music, pending the launch of Apple’s classical music platform in 2022.

Apple told AFP that this new service would be available for $ 9.99 per month, compared to $ 14.99 per month for Primephonic currently.

“We will provide a dedicated classical music service that will be truly the best in the world,” Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music and Beats, said in the statement.

“Primephonic was created to ensure that classical music remains relevant for future generations,” said Gordon Getty, one of the group’s major shareholders prior to its acquisition, and son of the oil magnate and philanthropist Paul Getty. For him, Primephonic and Apple “can fulfill this mission and bring the classic to a global audience”.

Primephonic is not alone in the specialized classical music streaming niche. It was preceded, in 2015, by the German Idagio, whose application has already been downloaded 1.8 million times, according to the specialized site Crunchbase.

Idagio offers a free plan with advertising and no search capability, and its paid plan starts at $ 9.99 per month.

Apple has not communicated the number of Apple Music subscribers since June 2019, when it announced that it had crossed the threshold of 60 million paying users.