Apple’s Acquisition Of BIS: A Boost For Classical Music Streaming


Apple has made a strategic move to capture a niche market by acquiring BIS, a renowned classical music label based in Sweden. With streaming dominating the music industry, Apple recognizes that classical music has been a hold-out in this trend, accounting for just 0.8% of streams in the US. However, Apple is betting on the growth potential of classical music streaming, and the acquisition of BIS is a significant step towards achieving that.

Key Takeaway

Apple’s acquisition of BIS, a classical music label, demonstrates its commitment to expanding its presence in the classical music streaming market.

Bringing Talent and Catalogue

The deal not only brings BIS’s critically-acclaimed present and future catalogue to Apple, but also includes a talented team that will join Apple Music Classical and Platoon. This collaboration will leverage the expertise of both companies to enhance the classical music streaming experience for Apple users. Previously, customers could access BIS’s catalogue through the label’s own site. However, with the acquisition, Apple users can now search and access the BIS catalogue directly on the Apple platform.

Credibility and Challenges in Classical Music Streaming

By acquiring BIS, Apple gains credibility and expertise in the classical music industry. The challenge of building a business and audience around classical streaming has been a long-time struggle for the industry as a whole. Classical music presents unique challenges in terms of metadata, discoverability, and sound quality on streaming platforms. Apple has been actively working on addressing these issues by acquiring specialized companies like Primephonic and launching the Apple Music Classical app.

However, even Apple has faced criticism for its previous attempts to save classical music through streaming. The BIS acquisition, therefore, brings a depth of knowledge and experience that can further improve Apple’s efforts to cater to classical music enthusiasts.

A Classical Tech Deal

BIS, a label that has been operating for 50 years, has established itself by producing exceptional recordings of overlooked works and artists. Founder Robert von Bahr’s commitment to preserving audio quality aligns with Apple’s own dedication to delivering high-quality music to its users. Apple’s exploration of innovations like Spatial Audio further demonstrates its focus on enhancing the future of classical music streaming.

It’s worth noting that BIS may not be a blockbuster in the wider music business sense. However, its approach to compensating artists through royalties rather than flat fees showcases a business model that supports both the creative process and financial sustainability. This is particularly relevant in an industry where battles over publishing rights and fair compensation continue.

The Future of Classical Music Streaming

By acquiring BIS, Apple has consolidated its position in the classical music streaming market. With its vast resources and commitment to improving classical music streaming experiences, Apple’s bet on the growth of this genre might just pay off. As streaming technology evolves and more listeners discover the richness of classical music, Apple’s investment in BIS could mark a turning point in the industry.

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