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Apple Buys Primephonic, Plans to Launch Its Own Classical Music App in 2022

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Apple Buys Primephonic

Highlights:

  • Apple buys classical music streaming service Primephonic.
  • A standalone Apple Music classical app will be released in 2022.
  • Primephonic’s existing service will be shut down on September 7.

Apple Inc. has acquired classical-music streaming service Primephonic and plans to launch an app dedicated to the genre next year. Primephonic’s playlists and audio content will be integrated into Apple Music in the coming months. Apple quietly buys dozens of companies every year, often to acquire engineers with expertise in particular areas or to add key technology to an ongoing initiative

With the Apple acquisition, Primephonic is no longer available for new subscribers. The streaming service will be removed on Sept. 7. Apple Music intends to launch a dedicated classical music app in 2022, which will merge Primephonic’s classical user interface with more added features. Current Primephonic subscribers will receive six months of Apple Music free of charge. Apple Music features more than 75 million songs — including more than 500,000 classical music albums — available for streaming.

“Apple Buys Primephonic”- Primephonic CEO Thomas Steffens said:

“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. Artists love the Primephonic service that 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 bring classical music to the mainstream and connect a new generation of musicians with the next generation of audience.”

Primephonic supports audio quality up to 24-bit 192kHz Hi-Res and lets users view the CD liner notes, but the Qobuz service, which includes as large a classical catalog, offered more Hi-Res tracks and CD booklets in my testing. Qobuz does a great job of providing album background on the player page as well. Apple Music tops out at 24-bit 48kHz by default. For either service, you need external hardware such as a DAC to actually hear the higher-quality streams.

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