What Happened to the Apple Classical Music App?

Without a doubt, Apple has had an excellent run when it comes to developing music-related features. iTunes was one of the best digital inventions of the 21st century, the iPod changed consumers’ relationship with listening to music, and Apple Music is a comprehensive streaming service that has an extensive catalog where anyone can enjoy all different types of music.

Not many people may know about Apple’s plan to launch an Apple Classical Music app. Upon reading the headline, you may have guessed that the company is launching an Apple similar to the Music app of the iTunes days. That’s not quite the case. Instead, it’s an application for classical music lovers. If you’re a classical lover and want to find out more about this app, read on below.

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What Is Apple’s Classical Music App?

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In August 2021, Apple announced it was acquiring Primephonic, a music service that excelled at serving those who enjoy classical exclusively. Not many were aware of this news, as it wasn’t a blockbuster business decision by Apple. The company plan to work with the Primephonic developers to add new features and make the service more on-brand for Apple. Those who had Primephonic were given six months’ worth of Apple Music for free as the application shut its services down in September 2021 in anticipation for the new Apple Classical Music app’s release.

It’s been 15 months now since the service shut down, and there hasn’t been much news about the Apple Classical Music app and its progress. Apple hasn’t made any announcements regarding what services they’re planning to add, when they’re launching, or any other supplementary information. Diligent Apple enthusiasts have dug around and found hints at the Apple Classical Music app still under development, with them finding hints of code and hidden files that point to its existence. Apart from that, it’s radio silence on all fronts.

Apple’s Classical Music App: Potential Features

What sort of features can we expect from the new Apple Classical Music app?

Spatial Audio

A feature that Apple has been pushing for a long time now is Spatial Audio. We’ve seen this with Apple Music and the new AirPods technology, so Apple definitely has the technology to implement Spatial Audio for any future audio-based services. What Spatial Audio does is create a more 3D effect when listening to music. If you’ve used your AirPods with Spatial Audio, you’ll notice how much “fuller” your listening experience is. You might be able to hear some 808s in the back of your head as the producer may have mixed the track to produce that effect. For classical music, you may hear distinct parts of the orchestra in different places within your earphones.

Slick User Interface

There’s no doubt that Apple’s expertise comes from creating slick user interfaces with excellent aesthetics and navigation. Although there wasn’t anything wrong with Primephonic’s interface and design, many can agree that Apple’s designs are next level. We expect immersive cover art, easier ways to search for composers and music, and Apple-Esque navigation.

Admittedly, many are unsatisfied with Apple Music’s design, especially the Browse section and searching for artists and songs on the Search tab. Perhaps Apple is spending time figuring out how to improve a music-focused app by gathering feedback from Apple Music.

Classical Live Streaming

A big rumor circulating the Apple Classical Music app is that it’ll allow users to stream live concerts and special video content. This would be a huge update, as Primephonic didn’t have any such feature. It would also change how we interact with classical music. Classical music is still rather traditional, with people opting to go to concerts to experience large symphonies. If we’re able to stream these concerts instead, it would have the same effect as being able to stream sports games instead of having to go to games or pay for a TV subscription.

Pricing Model

Primephonic operated on a pay-per-second-listened model. It was unique, and not everyone enjoyed it. In today’s streaming economy, it’s rare to find a service that operates this way. Apple Music has a more traditional pay-per-month model where you can pay a monthly fee to access its entire catalog. Seeing as the Primephonic team is still working on the Apple Classical Music app, there may be discussions on how to price the service effectively. If Apple wants to grow the service, the old Primephonic payment model probably won’t work.

Why Isn’t Apple’s Classical Music App Hosted on Apple Music?

Photo of someone using Apple Music on their smartphone

Some are asking why the company doesn’t just put the Apple Classical Music app on Apple Music somehow. Some are even more confused as to why Apple would acquire Primephonic to create a separate standalone music-based app when it already has a comprehensive service that it invests billions into. The surface-level answer is that if Apple was to put Primephonic’s technology onto Apple Music, it would get hidden and forgotten about, as the classical genre isn’t too popular on Apple Music.

Primephonic had its own dedicated customer base, and those individuals are surely looking for a more focused and dedicated app for listening to classical music. If some of the rumored features are true, such as the live-streaming concerts one, then the app could have a legitimately unique selling point compared to other options on the market.

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