Apple is launching a new app exclusively for classical music later this month – Ars Technica

Enlarge / The Apple Music Classical logo and app icon.


Apple is launching a version of Apple Music specifically for classical music later this month, the company said announced today. The Apple Music Classical app, which is currently available for pre-order in the App Store, will be separate from the main Apple Music app. But access to the service will be included with a $17-per-month Apple One subscription. month or most Apple Music subscriptions (excluding the basic $5 per month Apple Music Voice tier).

In August 2021, Apple acquired a classical music service called Primephonic. If you’re wondering why classical music could benefit from a dedicated app, this PCMag piece on Primephonic will answer that question for you: you can search for music not just by song title or its composer, but by the name of the orchestra, who recorded it, or the person who conducted it, or information about soloists or other performers. Primephonic could also explain the different possible spellings of composers’ names, among other features.

Perhaps most importantly for a streaming music service, however, Primephonic used a royalty model where payouts were based on the amount of time songs were played rather than the number of times a song was listened to. Using a per-play model, someone listening to a 15-minute movement of a Beethoven symphony would generate as much revenue for the artists as someone listening to a 90-second pop song.

Apple has not specified how it plans to pay artists, but its press release announcing the Primephonic acquisition indicated that the service’s detailed metadata and “the best features of Primephonic” would be folded into Apple Music Classical when it launched.

The Apple Music Classical app is currently iPhone-only, though an Android version is apparently coming “soon.” There’s no word on what Apple plans for iPad, macOS, or Windows; Windows only got its first version of the Apple Music app in a preview earlier this year.

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