Apple Music Classical will give your smartphone some culture on March 28
Apple is launching a version of Apple Music specifically for classical music later this month, the company announced today. The Apple Music Classical app, currently available for preorder 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 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 might benefit from a dedicated app, this PCMag piece about Primephonic will answer that question for you: You could search for music not just by song title or its composer, but by the name of the orchestra that recorded it, or the person who conducted it, or information about soloists or other performers. Primephonic could also account for the different possible spellings of composers' names, among other features.
Perhaps most importantly for a streaming music service, though, Primephonic used a royalty model where payouts were based on the amount of time that songs were played rather than the number of times a song was listened to. Using a per-play model, someone who listens to a 15-minute movement of a Beethoven symphony would generate as much revenue for the artists as someone who listened to a 90-second pop song.
Apple hasn't 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 iPhone-only for now, though an Android version is apparently coming "soon." There's no word on what Apple plans for the iPad, macOS, or Windows; Windows only got its first version of the Apple Music app in a preview earlier this year.