When a digital giant takes an interest in classical music, is it about to revolutionize the market? Apple is launching tomorrow its music streaming service dedicated to this repertoire. What will this application offer? Will Apple revolutionize listening to classical music? To see more clearly, journalist Sofian Fanen, website co-founder
Daysauthor of the book
stream boulevard at Castor Music, enlighten us.
Behind this launch with great fanfare, what will Apple really offer with this new service? “It is a service that has the ambition to correct all the problems that classical music listeners had on streaming platforms until now. The sound quality, which is an extremely important dimension for this kind of music, was a question. And Apple is currently embarking on a major strategy for high quality and also the spatialization of sound.“Indeed, the company promises a very broad offer, with more than 5 million works. Whereas in comparison, the other major streaming service, Idagio, offers between 650,000 and 800,000 titles today. But where Apple wants to revolutionize the practice is on ergonomics: “On traditional streaming platforms, and competitors like Spotify or Deezer, looking for a work of classical music is not at all practical, nor made for it because they have been built around popular music, rock, rap and music electronics. So there is a whole navigation that has been redesigned by Apple.“Nevertheless, Sophian Fanen remains cautious on this promise, because according to him, Apple does not know how to show the best performance on ergonomics in the sector.
Classical music, a major challenge for reaching new audiences
Since its creation, Apple has built its DNA on an attachment to music, but behind this choice, there is above all a commercial strategy: “The classical world is one of the musical sectors that is exploding on all platforms, especially since the confinement of 2020. There are quite gigantic scores. On the other hand, once we’ve said that, we have to look at which classic is listened to on streaming platforms: it’s not necessarily Schubert, Beethoven, Bach, but it’s very much the “cool” piano playlists, welfare. This is where she is listened to. It can also be great piano interpretations, great pieces played by small ensembles, but relatively few great symphonies. So we have two classical music that coexist on streaming platforms.“With this strategy, Apple wants to reach new audiences, especially young people.
Streaming is currently undergoing a complete overhaul, and the arrival of the American giant on the classic market risks causing the disappearance of smaller platforms specializing in high quality, such as the French Qobuz, or Idagio. The competition will be more and more difficult but Sophian Fanen puts things into perspective: “Qobuz has years of experience behind it, while Apple is entering this world. What’s weird is that Apple has chosen a second application, and that’s where we will see if this choice was relevant.“Is Apple going to succeed in attracting a classical music audience exclusively to this application or should we move an audience from popular music to classical music? Sophian Fanen wonders whether to be specialized like Qobuz , or generalist. Apple is trying to position itself between the two. Is this really a good strategy? Answer in a few months.