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More details emerge about Apple Music's upcoming 'Classical' app, / The Music Network

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The Music Network's Christie Eliezer writes…..The arrival of Apple Music’s dedicated classical music app might not be too far away. It’s been on the cards since last August when the Cupertino tech giant bought classical music streaming service Primephonic. The plan was to incorporate its best features – in particular search and discover – in Apple Music with Lossless and Spatial Audio, and also issue a dedicated app. This week the code for the latest Apple Music beta app for Android let slip that the name for its dedicated app is Apple Classical.

In a recent ad for a UX Designer to work on the app, Apple called for candidates to “provide UX expertise and new perspectives specifically for Primephonic” in order to help realise a distinct experience for classical music that would include “visual, audial, and haptic” aspects.

Apple Classical comes at a time when classical music is posting strong streaming figures in Australia. During the pandemic, Australians – like music fans in other countries – rediscovered classical music, and plan to follow it up when the live sector finally opens up.

The world’s biggest classical music star via streaming is 66-year old Italian composer and pianist, Ludovico Einaudi. He generates a million streams a day, with a total of 2 billion streams.

His March 2019 album Seven Days Walking: Day One was the fastest-streamed classical album of all time, with 1 million views on the first day of its release. This achievement was overturned in 2022…by Einaudi’s Underwater. The composer is also a star on TikTok, after his 2013 track ‘Experience’ went viral. Almost 7 million videos were created using that song, clocking up more than 15 billion views. Another Italian star, Andrea Bocelli, has seen his back catalogue streamed five billion times and sales of 90 million. Late last year he signed with Universal Music to cash in, with a revival of his back catalogue and opportunities to globally stream his concerts.

Long-passed legendary composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Wolfgang Mozart, Achille-Claude Debussy, Johannes Brahms, Antonio Vivaldi and Franz Schubert are also having a renaissance.

This month a study from the Leipzig’s tourism board showed how Bach is the most popular classical music composer on Spotify. This is partly due to his Cello Suite No. 1 In G Major being used in movies such as The Pianist and being streamed 162 million times. Based on a rate of 0.0037 dollars per stream, he’s generated US$24.7 million. In comparison, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You’ has earned him $10.4 million since its January 2017 release.

Beethoven would have earned $8.9 million for his Moonlight Sonata. French-Polish pianist Frederic Chopin made $9.6 million for Ballade #1 In G Minor. The classical market for expansion is huge, particularly in the wake of the pandemic when people are challenging themselves and stretching their interests. For example in the UK, six million adults plan to check out classical music for the first time in 2022, according to a study commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 25% of them were aged 18—35.

James Williams, managing director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, said: “Music is an important and integral part of people’s lives, and technology today means it has never been easier to discover or learn more about new genres of music.” Earlier this week, Apple made another music-related acquisition, AI Music. The London-based company uses artificial intelligence to create personalised soundtracks and adaptive music.

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