Apple Failed to Release a Classical Music App in 2022

In August 2021, Apple announced it had acquired classical music service Primephonic. At the time, Apple said it planned to release a dedicated classical music app in 2022, but the year has now ended without the app launching.

apple music
"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," said an Apple Newsroom press release in 2021. Apple has not publicly addressed the plans since, and it's unclear if the app will be released in 2023.

Primephonic shut down in September 2021, with subscribers at the time receiving six months of access to Apple Music for free. If it ever launches, the Apple Classical app would serve as a replacement for Primephonic, providing users with a destination for streaming classical music from the likes of Beethoven and Mozart.

Hidden references to the Apple Classical app were discovered in a beta version of the Apple Music app for Android and in the iOS 15.5 beta last year. Even more references to the app were discovered in an XML file on Apple's servers last year.

Apple said it would incorporate the best features of Primephonic, including "better browsing and search capabilities by composer and by repertoire" and "detailed displays of classical music metadata," and it's possible that the company simply needs more time to work on this. Primephonic also compensated artists and other rights holders with a unique pay-per-second-listened model instead of a pay-per-play model like Apple Music, so perhaps Apple is still trying to figure out a suitable payout model for the Apple Classical app.

At this point, it's unclear if the Apple Classical app will be released at some point in 2023 or if the plans have been abandoned. We've reached out to Apple for comment on the situation and we'll update this story if we hear back.

Top Rated Comments

CyberGene Avatar
10 months ago
The current search on Apple Music is a total failure for classical music. It was meant for Artist-Album-Song concept of non-classical music and as a result it’s often impossible to find a classical music performance by the much more complicated notion of:

Work revision
Work Composer Catalog
Number within opus
Work Movement
Work Transcription
Year/Date (of concert)
Release (Remaster)
Record (CD) on which the work appears

I’m certainly missing other fields.

Apple Music only supports entire CD-s and not separate works or movements, let alone specific filters. Good luck finding anything on Apple Music with free text search.

Services like IDAGIO (and previously Primephonic) support custom search filters. I use the free version of IDAGIO (no subscription) to find particular records through a custom search with combination of the above fields in the filter, after which I find the CD(s) that contain what I’m looking for and then try to find/match them on Apple Music which is a tedious task since Apple Music often lacks detailed metadata to even find the corresponding CD, so I have to resort to track names or something more specific, etc. and hope I can eventually find a visual match for the “album” cover among the hundreds of results to eventually match it.

In short, Apple Music sucks big time for classical music fans.
Score: 70 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mrkevinfinnerty Avatar
10 months ago
They need to sort their main Music app out
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
10 months ago
Hopefully, it gets to see a day in light in 2023. Besides the Classical Music App. Apple also failed to release other promising things.

Attachment Image
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NARadyk Avatar
10 months ago
Apple failed in 2022.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
10 months ago
And life goes on.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kraszim Avatar
10 months ago
At this point it starts to look like a hostile takover. Buy it and shut it down. Otherwise they could have just let the original run, until they get their own version ready.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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