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Apple buys classical music streaming service Primephonic

Apple has acquired classical music streaming service Primephonic, the company announced in a release Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition adds to Apple Music’s growing library of more than 75 million songs and builds on the platform’s existing classical music content. Spotify follows close behind with more than 70 million songs.

Apple said it plans to launch a classical music-focused app next year that harnesses Primephonic’s existing user interface. Apple will take Primephonic offline on Sept. 7, and current subscribers will get six free months of Apple Music, the company said.

Over the next few months, Apple also said it plans to take advantage of Primephonic’s detailed information about classical tracks to improve browsing and search capabilities. Subscribers will also get access to playlists and exclusive audio.

Apple quietly buys dozens of companies every year, often to acquire engineers with expertise in particular areas or to add key technology to an ongoing initiative. But some of the company’s largest and highest-profile acquisitions have been in the music space: It bought streaming music service and headphone maker Beats for $3 billion in 2014, and music-identification service Shazam for a price reportedly around $400 million in 2017. In 2018, it quietly bought Platoon, a service for helping users discover artists, for an undisclosed sum.

In a letter posted Monday to its website, Primephonic said that the acquisition will help it serve more classical music 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,” the company said. “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.” CNBC

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