Friday, 16 June 2017

Primephonic launches its classical music streaming service

Primephonic streaming service
If you have ever tried to find a particular classical music recording on one of the standard streaming services, you will know how frustrating the process is because search facilities designed for popular songs are rarely suitable for classical music. This has now been remedied, and Primephonic has launched a streaming service specifically dedicated to classical music.

Primephonic has an existing download platform, and to this the company has now added a streaming service. The streaming service is starting with over 100,000 classical music tracks with many being added every day, and lots of labels including Sony Classical and Warner Classics. All the tracks will be available as CD quality (16-bit FLAC file format). Perhaps as important, the search facility will allow you to search by composer, work, artist, ensemble, historical period and genre thus making it easier to find that specific recording. Unlike other streaming services, Primephonic offers the possibility of coping with the fact that in classical music, there are often hundreds of recordings of the same piece of music.

Primephonic is a Dutch company, which has the record label Pentatone as a sister company. They feel that so far, classical music has not really found a place in the streaming world, and hope that Primephonic's platform is the answer. Certainly the classical music world is relatively small, so let us hope that the classical music streaming consumers (around 3% of the total streaming market) get on board. The company is offering a different royalty payment model to standard streaming services, with Primephonic offering payment based on the time spent listening (rather than the number of tracks).

The service had a launch event in London on Wednesday (14 June 2017) when we got a chance to hear about the new service, meet the people responsible for it and try listening, there was also live music too with a harpist, Melissa Parmar, and a trio of brass players from the London Philharmonic Orchestra who played Poulenc's trio for trumpet, horn and trombone. Another visitor was a violin maker, Ballard Violins, and it was fascinating chatting to him about his methods, and seeing his tools (see above) and the half-built instruments.

The site offers a 30 day free trial, and subscriptions then cost £14.99 per month in the UK ($14.99 in the USA). Full details from the Primephonic website.

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