Apple tunes into classical music market with acquisition of Primephonic

31 Aug 2021

Image: © nikkimeel/

Apple has acquired the classical music streaming service and will integrate its features into Apple Music.

Apple Music is preparing to launch a dedicated app for classical music fans following the acquisition of Primephonic.

Dutch-American start-up Primephonic launched its classical music streaming platform three years ago. Its listening and user experience is optimised for classical music, including features such as a recommendations engine and contextual information on composers and their repertoire.

Now it’s becoming part of Apple Music, Primephonic is no longer available to new subscribers. Current subscribers will be refunded for the remaining time on their subscription and the service will go offline on 7 September.

To bring current users on its new journey, Primephonic subscribers will also receive six months of Apple Music for free.

The Apple Music library currently hosts more than 500,000 classical music albums. The service also has features for audiophiles such as the ability to listen to lossless audio and spatial audio with Dolby Atmos.

Announcing the acquisition, Apple committed to an improved experience for classical music listeners, integrating Primephonic’s playlists and exclusive audio content.

Next year, Apple will launch a dedicated classical music app combining Primephonic’s user interface with more added features.

“We love and have a deep respect for classical music, and Primephonic has become a fan favourite for classical enthusiasts,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice-president of Apple Music.

“Together, we’re bringing great new classical features to Apple Music, and in the near future, we’ll deliver a dedicated classical experience that will truly be the best in the world.”

In a statement, Primephonic said that the decision to make the deal with Apple Music was driven by audience reach. Co-founder and CEO Thomas Steffens said the move will bring classical music to the mainstream and find new audiences as well as a new generation of musicians.

“Artists love the Primephonic service and what 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,” said Steffens.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.