The company announced today that it will launch a classical music-specific version of Apple Music later this month. In contrast to the main Apple Music app, the Apple Music Classical app, which is currently available for preorder in the App Store, will not be combined. However, a $17-per-month Apple One subscription or the majority of Apple Music subscriptions (with the exception of the basic $5-per-month Apple Music Voice tier) will include access to the service.
Apple purchased Primephonic, a classical music streaming service, in August 2021. This PCMag article on Primephonic will answer your question about why a dedicated app for classical music might be beneficial: You could look up music not only by the song’s title or composer, but also by the name of the orchestra that recorded it, the person who conducted it, and information about soloists or other performers. Among other characteristics, primephonic could also explain the various spellings of composers’ names.
Primephonic, however, utilized a royalty model in which payouts were based on the amount of time that songs were played as opposed to the number of times a song was listened to. This was perhaps the most important feature for a streaming music service. A per-play model would show that someone who listens to a 15-minute Beethoven symphony would make the same amount of money for the artists as someone who listens to a 90-second pop song.
Although Apple has not specified how it intends to compensate artists, its press release announcing the acquisition of Primephonic stated that Apple Music Classical would incorporate the service’s detailed metadata and “the best features of Primephonic” when it launches.
Currently, the Apple Music Classical app is only available for iPhones; however, an Android version is said to be coming “soon.” Apple’s plans for the iPad, macOS, and Windows are unknown; The Apple Music app was only available in a preview for Windows earlier this year.
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