A new classical music-focused music streaming service is set to be launched by Apple.
According to Apple, the new Apple Music Classical app will provide Apple Music subscribers access to over five million classical music tracks, including new releases in high-quality audio, as well as hundreds of curated playlists, thousands of exclusive albums, and other features like composer bios and deep dives on important works.
This is based on its 2021 acquisition of Amsterdam-based streamer Primephonic.
Given that it appeared in the most recent OS upgrades distributed to developers, the service was reported to be nearly finished, but the precise launch date wasn’t yet known.
Even though the software is being released today, for the time being, it is only available for pre-order on the App Store.
The publication date is scheduled for March 28. Also, at launch, the app will only work with iOS devices running iOS 15.4 or newer.
Although it differs significantly from the features rival Spotify announced this week, which involved tech-forward features like AI and video-based discovery feeds, the company’s choice to target classical music listeners with a standalone app is a differentiator for its Apple Music subscription service.
Instead, Apple Music Classical will offer a straightforward user interface for exploring classical music. To find recordings, users will be able to do searches by composer, work, conductor, or even catalogue number.
Apple commissioned artists to create high-resolution digital portraits of famous composers, which will be made public.
More will be added over time. They were created using colour schemes and visual elements from the corresponding ancient era. From the start, portraits of Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, and Johann Sebastian Bach will be accessible.
Over time, the service will also be updated with new songs.
According to Apple, it has been collaborating with classical music performers and organizations to produce exclusive content and recordings for the debut and will do so in the future.
Users can currently follow news and updates on the app and new music releases on the @appleclassical Twitter account.
As Apple Music Classical is delivered as part of the Apple Music subscription, there is no extra cost.
For example, subscribers to the Individual ($10.99/mo), Student ($5.99/mo), Family ($16.99/mo), and Apple One bundles will all be able to access the app.
Although the service is initially only available on iOS, it will “soon” support Android, much like the Apple Music app.