Apple has announced the acquisition of classical music streaming service Primephonic, with plans to shutter the existing platform and launch a new service in its place next year.
The company said Primephonic offers an "outstanding listening experience with search and browse functionality optimised for classical, premium-quality audio, handpicked expert recommendations, and extensive contextual details on repertoire and recordings".
Primephonic is no longer available for new subscribers, as of now, and will be taken offline from September 7.
"Artists love the Primephonic service and what we've done in classical, and now we have the ability to join with Apple to deliver the absolute best experience to millions of listeners," Primephonic co-founder and CEO Thomas Steffens said. "We get to bring classical music to the mainstream and connect a new generation of musicians with the next generation of audience."
Apple Music plans to launch a dedicated classical music app next year combining Primephonic's UI, with Apple's brand, but in the meantime, it is offering current Primephonic subscribers six months of Apple Music for free.
"With the addition of Primephonic, Apple Music subscribers will get a significantly improved classical music experience beginning with Primephonic playlists and exclusive audio content," Apple said.
The company touted the new offering would boast better browsing and search capabilities, detailed displays of classical music metadata, plus new features and benefits.
"We love and have a deep respect for classical music, and Primephonic has become a fan favorite for classical enthusiasts," Apple Music and Beats vice president Oliver Schusser said. "Together, we're bringing great new classical features to Apple Music, and in the near future, we'll deliver a dedicated classical experience that will truly be the best in the world."
In a post, Primephone said as a classical-only startup, it could not reach the majority of global classical listeners, especially those that listen to many other music genres as well, and therefore concluded that in order to achieve its mission, it needed to partner with a leading streaming service.
"Three years ago, Primephonic was launched to create a better future for classical music by addressing the challenges and complexities of the genre for the streaming era," the company said. "We felt compelled to develop a streaming service that truly gets classical right -- so that's what we did over the last three years.
"But to fully achieve the next phase of our mission, we need to bring our classical streaming expertise to millions of listeners worldwide."