Author Topic: Apple acquires Primephonic, will release their own classical app  (Read 696 times)

Offline erikwilson7

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This is pretty big news for classical music. Apple has acquired the classical streaming platform Primephonic, which will go offline in a week. Several months from now, Apple will release a dedicated classical music streaming app:

"Primephonic is no longer available for new subscribers and will be taken offline beginning September 7. Apple Music plans to launch a dedicated classical music app next year combining Primephonic’s classical user interface that fans have grown to love with more added features. In the meantime, current Primephonic subscribers will receive six months of Apple Music for free, providing access to hundreds of thousands of classical albums, all in Lossless and high-resolution audio, as well as hundreds of classical albums in Apple Music’s Spatial Audio, with new albums added regularly."

Could this 'save' the declining classical music industry?

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/08/apple-acquires-classical-music-streaming-service-primephonic/

Offline ChrisH

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Re: Apple acquires Primephonic, will release their own classical app
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2021, 06:54:43 PM »
Essentially, they just purchased Primephonic meta-data. Primephonic was made to be sold. Get big enough, to get bought by the big boys. And, no this won't save classical music.

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Apple acquires Primephonic, will release their own classical app
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2021, 07:11:46 PM »
But it might help. Classical music needs a new digital face and more accessibility. We might not like it, but the big boys like Apple streamlining classical music in the age of… streaming (no pun intended) will get more people listening. It might not translate to album sales, but it boosts classical music’s relevance and possibly concert hall attendance in the future, pandemics aside.

This is all speculation at this point. We’ll see what happens.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Apple acquires Primephonic, will release their own classical app
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2021, 04:43:25 PM »
Sorry to interject my usual level of negativity, but this means nothing to me. I find pretty much everything I want to hear at Spotify, Idagio, or even Youtube. Their sound quality is good enough for me and my computer system.

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Apple acquires Primephonic, will release their own classical app
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2021, 04:54:10 PM »
Whatever 'works' for you is what matters. I get it.

My CD collection only consists of Mahler, and it's 10 box sets + Nagano's Das klagende Lied. For me personally, a highly organized digital classical library with digital CD booklets, proper metadata, and lossless audio is very appealing.

As I said, as long as what you're doing works for you this move by Apple won't seem necessary. I'm just always looking for a better alternative.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Apple acquires Primephonic, will release their own classical app
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2021, 07:48:11 PM »
I guess my question is this: what is the point of all these different streaming services?     .      .      .    are they radically different, somehow?

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Apple acquires Primephonic, will release their own classical app
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2021, 08:49:34 PM »
No, they're really not. Idagio, Primephonic... they're essentially the same thing with a different user interface: B-grade software apps made by classical music aficionados. I've been a subscriber to both in the past (at different times), and they're essentially the same thing and need some professional developer TLC.

And what's the point of them? I suppose it would be to replace the concept of buying and collecting CDs at no sacrifice to audio quality, and ultimately providing a cheaper but more permanent and organized experience. If it's $9.99/month that's less than the price of 1 CD per month, and still providing the digital booklet, CD quality audio, and library organization for all available classical recordings. The only thing that's missing is the sentimentality of truly 'owning' the CDs, which I admittedly would miss.

I also like the way that Idagio pays its artists: Instead of the way other platforms like Spotify do it by paying 'by the stream,' they dole out royalties by total seconds streamed. So on Spotify, a recording of Mahler 2 would make far less money than a recording of Robert Schumann's Carnaval, a piece with a couple dozen miniature piano movements. On Idagio, it's the opposite. I hope Apple takes heed of that.

My larger point, however, is that if a big company like Apple can take one of them and make it into something truly good, we might finally have something to seriously consider.

Let's just see what happens. It might be a game-changer, or it might be a cheap re-hash of these classical streaming apps we already have available. If it's the latter and Apple can't pull this off, then the old way of actually collecting CDs will remain the best way to experience classical music.

Offline ChrisH

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Re: Apple acquires Primephonic, will release their own classical app
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2021, 12:50:46 PM »
The actual point of streaming services, all of them actually, is to remove physical media from our hands. Basically, they don't want you to own anything. Similar to putting stuff in the cloud. The TOS for all cloud based services reads that what you put there, is no longer under your control, it's theirs. This is what the it's really all about. You are paying a monthly subscription to license and play the music, nothing more.

Personally, I don't stream any music. I purchase discs or downloads by choosing the source that is closest to the orchestra, or the label. I want the artist/label to actually get their fair shake of the money. Orchestras are broke, and I would guess that many of the smaller labels are also struggling. I want the money in their hands, not getting a few cents per play through a streaming service which points users at what the service wants them to listen too.

I will also say, I don't really care how you listen to the music, but one must be aware of what the game is, and how it is played.

Hell, it's not hard to set up your own 'streaming service' with your own collection.

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Apple acquires Primephonic, will release their own classical app
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2021, 02:49:55 PM »
Very good points to consider! Thank you.

No doubt in my mind that the healthiest way to listen is buying directly from the source.

To make a geeky analogy, Microsoft now has something called Xbox Game Pass where if you subscribe for $120 per year you have access to all available games to download and play, but once you stop subscribing you lose access. I don't buy it. I'd rather buy and own my games so they never, ever go away. Plus, you never know if or when a game will be taken off Game Pass.

In other words, I totally see your point.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2021, 03:00:35 PM by erikwilson7 »

Offline akiralx

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Re: Apple acquires Primephonic, will release their own classical app
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2021, 10:18:37 AM »
To make a geeky analogy, Microsoft now has something called Xbox Game Pass where if you subscribe for $120 per year you have access to all available games to download and play, but once you stop subscribing you lose access. I don't buy it. I'd rather buy and own my games so they never, ever go away. Plus, you never know if or when a game will be taken off Game Pass.

In other words, I totally see your point.

Yes, this is the point - music companies are realising that as we all sit at home enjoying our CDs we bought years ago, they aren't making a red cent out of us any more - and they hate that scenario.  So the intended endgame will be that it will be impossible to own a recording ever again - you will simply stream it and pay whenever you want to hear it.  That model is already being used for software - I think for Microsoft Office it is not possible to buy it any more, you have to subscribe annually.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Apple acquires Primephonic, will release their own classical app
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2021, 05:42:43 PM »
Yes, well if I can just get the Adam Fischer M6 on a plain, old CD, then they can do whatever they want. I'm set. I have enough Mahler, and enough Horace Sliver and Jack Sheldon to last me for the rest of my life.

 

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