Apple Music Classical Invests $5 Million In Expanding To China, Japan, South Korea, And More

By Loudest Team
January 10, 2024
Apple Music Classical Invests $5 Million In Expanding To China, Japan, South Korea, And More

Apple Music Classical, Apple's specialized app designed for classical music aficionados, is set to make its debut in several East Asian markets. The service is scheduled to be launched in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau from January 24, as announced by Apple on X on Tuesday (January 9).

This expansion aims to provide music enthusiasts in these Asian markets access to an extensive library featuring over 5 million classical recordings. The collection encompasses not only celebrated masterpieces and new releases but also includes thousands of exclusive albums. Originally introduced in March 2023, the app expanded to Android devices in May 2023, preceding its availability on Mac and optimization for iPad.

Apple Music Classical swiftly gained global popularity among classical music enthusiasts due to its vast collection of tracks. Offering audio quality up to 192 kHz/24-bit lossless and hi-resolution, the service features curated playlists, detailed artist biographies, and guides for key works. Infused with features from Primephonic, a Dutch classical music streaming service acquired by Apple in August 2021, the app enhances browsing and search capabilities, categorized by composer and repertoire. It also offers detailed displays of classical music metadata, providing users with comprehensive information about their favorite compositions.

The app is accessible to Apple Music subscribers at no additional cost, included in their existing subscription. However, it is not compatible with the Apple Music Voice Plan, a subscription tier tailored for Siri integration.

This expansion represents a significant move for Apple Music Classical, entering regions where classical music holds deep cultural significance. Since its launch, the app has been steadily expanding its global presence, with the exception of select markets like Russia and Turkey.

Questions arise regarding the revenue potential of the app, considering classical music's challenges in adapting to the streaming era despite the presence of services like Spotify and Apple Music. Analysts, like Ryan Blakeley, a Ph.D. candidate in Musicology at the Eastman School of Music, suggest that while classical music may not be a major revenue generator on its own, it can act as a gateway to Apple's broader ecosystem. By attracting classical music enthusiasts, Apple has the potential to lead them to explore and invest in other Apple products and services.

Apple Music Classical faces competition from STAGE+, a high-resolution classical music streaming service launched by Deutsche Grammophon, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, in November 2022. Additionally, Apple has reinforced its position in the classical music genre by acquiring the 50-year old Swedish record label BIS Records in September 2023, known for its focus on early and contemporary classical music. BIS Records is now an integral part of Apple Music Classical, aligning with the strategic moves made by Apple in this musical domain.

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