Just in: Classical streaming service is bought by Apple

Just in: Classical streaming service is bought by Apple


norman lebrecht

August 30, 2021

The classical music streaming service Primephonic has been acquired by Apple, it was announced today.

Apple says it will take Primephonic offline from next week. Subscribers will get six free months of Apple Music instead.

It promises to use Primephonic’s classical data to improve browsing and search capabilities.

Hmmm. It sounds like a raw deal for classical subscribers. The sale – to which no value has been disclosed – leaves Idagio unchallenged as the only dedicated classical streaming service.

Here’s what Primpehonic are telling their customer base:

Dear Primephonic user,

Three years ago, Primephonic was launched to create a better future for classical music by addressing the challenges and complexities of the genre for the streaming era. We felt compelled to develop a streaming service that truly gets classical right—so that’s what we did over the last 3 years. But to fully achieve the next phase of our mission, we need to bring our classical streaming expertise to millions of listeners worldwide

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. 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. Today, we are therefore thrilled to share a great step forward in our mission – Primephonic is joining Apple Music!

We are working on an amazing new classical music experience from Apple for early next year, but unfortunately, the Primephonic service will be taken offline starting September 7. You may continue to use it at no charge until then.

Please check your email for more details about your 6 month free trial on Apple Music, your refund and more.

The Primephonic Team

UPDATE: Nothing about this deal is classical friendly


  • Darrell says:

    Primephonichas was founded with the sole intention of being bought, being its main asset quality metadata in classical music, something unusual in streaming services, where the data of composer, performer, conductor and others are usually mixed, incomplete, etc.

  • Augustine says:

    I don’t want 6 free months of Apple Music. Good bye to Apple/Primephonics for me.

    Back to Idagio (for however long they stay in business).

  • Music Lover says:

    Idagio the only classical streaming service? Naxos Music Library appears to have been forgotten.

  • Patrick says:

    So, now every movement is a “song”. Every search is a mess. Sad. I quit Apple Music to join Primephonic. Now, what….?

  • Jim C. says:

    Yuck. But they’ve been admittedly looking for a buyout, so no surprise.

    Apple just wants their search technology. Oh boy.