Apple lifts lid on standalone ‘Apple Music Classical’ app

Apple has announced the launch of a new standalone ‘Apple Music Classical’ app.

Apple Music Classical will launch later this month (on March 28) and Apple Music subscribers will be able to download and use the app as part of their existing subscription at no additional cost.

The official launch comes nearly two years after Apple acquired Primephonic, a classical music streaming service headquartered in the Netherlands.

Primephonic was taken offline beginning September 7, 2021, and Apple Music said that it planned to launch a dedicated classical music app last year combining Primephonic’s classical user interface with more added features.

The app is now finally available for pre-order as of Thursday (March 9) on the App Store. (Once pre-order is complete, Apple Music Classical will automatically download at launch.)

Apple Music says that its Classical app “makes it quick and easy to find any recording in the world’s largest classical music catalog”.

The streaming platform claims further that its new app “is the ultimate classical experience with hundreds of curated playlists, thousands of exclusive albums, insightful composer biographies, deep-dive guides for many key works, intuitive browsing features and much more”.

Apple says that it is working closely with “some of the most prolific classical music artists and renowned classical music institutions in the world” to offer “Apple Music Classical listeners new, unique and exclusive content and recordings at launch and beyond”.

Apple Music Classical also claims to offer:

  • “The world’s largest classical music catalog with over 5 million tracks and works from new releases to celebrated masterpieces.
  • “Thousands of exclusive albums”.
  • “The ability to search by composer, work, conductor, or even catalogue number, and find specific recordings instantly.”
  • “The highest audio quality (up to 192 kHz/24 bit Hi-Res Lossless) with thousands of recordings in immersive spatial audio.”
  • “Complete and accurate metadata to make sure you know exactly what work and which artist is playing.”
  • “Thousands of editorial notes including composer biographies, descriptions of key works, and more.”

The launch of Apple Music Classical comes a few months after Universal Music Group-owned Deutsche Grammophon, which claims to be the world’s oldest record label, launched its own high-res classical music streaming service.

In 2020, research published by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, streaming service Deezer, and British record industry body BPI, showed that streams by under 35s had risen by 17% worldwide in the prior year on Deezer’s platform.

The RPO’s study, which took place in May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, also found that orchestral music had grown in popularity among young people during lockdown.Music Business Worldwide