Apple Acquires BIS Records to Amplify Apple Music Classical Experience

In other words, Apple has recently acquired the renowned record label BIS Records, as announced by the founder of the Swedish company, Robert von Bahr, on Tuesday. This acquisition comes shortly after Apple launched the Apple Music Classical app in late March, aiming to bolster its classical music offerings.

Apple's purchase of BIS Records is aimed at enhancing its Apple Music Classical app, which was described by Apple in March as having the "world's largest classical music catalogue" with "over" 5 million tracks. Robert von Bahr mentioned that the record label will be integrated into the Apple Music Classical app and Platoon. Apple had previously acquired Platoon in 2018, a company that identifies emerging talent and assists creators in producing, distributing, and promoting their content. Von Bahr cited his recent 80th birthday as a factor in his decision to sell BIS Records and expressed enthusiasm for Apple's support for spatial audio and its mission to introduce classical music to new global audiences.

The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed by either Apple or BIS Records, but von Bahr stated that he and the rest of the BIS staff will be retained by Apple.

This acquisition is part of Apple's ongoing efforts to focus on classical music and differentiate its streaming platform. While classical music currently constitutes a small portion of on-demand music streaming, data from Luminate, a data analytics firm cited by Billboard in March, revealed that classical music's share of on-demand streams in the US in 2022 was 0.8 percent. Nevertheless, Luminate also noted that the classical music genre surpassed the overall growth rate of on-demand streaming in the US in 2022, growing by 13.4 percent year over year compared to the industry's 12.2 percent year-over-year growth.

Apple introduced the Apple Music Classical app as a separate offering from Apple Music on March 28. Building on its 2018 acquisition of Primephonic, the Apple Music Classical app enables users to search for classical works using various parameters such as song title, composer, conductor, orchestra, soloist performers, and more. It also provides additional features like composer biographies and in-depth explorations of famous classical compositions. Since its launch, Apple Music Classical has expanded its compatibility to include devices running Android 9 Pie and later.

Apple did not provide details on how artists on Apple Music Classical are compensated or whether it differs from the payment structure for Apple Music artists. It was suggested in March by PCMag that the classical music app operates on a per-stream payment model, similar to Apple Music, although this may not be advantageous for older classical works. With the acquisition of BIS Records, Apple may gain valuable insights into managing the financial aspects of classical music.

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