Skip to main content

Apple buys classical music streaming service Primephonic

Apple buys classical music streaming service Primephonic


A standalone Apple Music classical app will be released in 2022

Share this story

The Apple Music logo on a background with a wave pattern
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple Music is pushing more extensively into classical music. Today, Apple announced that it has acquired Primephonic, a service that specializes in streaming the classical genre, and will incorporate the app’s functionality and playlists into Apple Music. The result will be “a significantly improved classical music experience,” Apple said in a press release. There will also be a standalone Apple Music classical app coming sometime in 2022.

Effective immediately, Primephonic is no longer accepting new customers, and the service as it exists today will shut down on September 7th.

Apple says Primephonic’s playlists and “exclusive audio content” will be first to be integrated into Apple Music. Down the line, it’ll add “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.”

In a show of how serious Apple is about appealing to classical fans, the company says “a dedicated classical music app” will launch next year that will use Primephonic’s “classical user interface that fans have grown to love.”

Primephonic launched three years ago, and its team says this deal is about scale and reaching more listeners. “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 wrote in a note on its webpage. “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.”

According to Primephonic’s FAQ, customers with an active subscription will receive a prorated refund. They’ll also be getting a code to redeem six free months of Apple Music.

As I wrote in my early review of Apple Music’s spatial audio, classical lends itself extremely well to Dolby Atmos mixes — so I’m looking forward to the service evolving into a better home for the genre.