Apple buys Swedish classical label

Karina Kanelakis conducts the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall on Thursday night, May 22, 2014.

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Apple It acquired BIS Records, a 50-year-old Swedish record label focused on classical music, as part of its ongoing efforts to attract classical music fans.

BIS Records founder Robert von Bahr said Tuesday, when Apple recently bought his record company and will distribute it into the Apple Music Classical and Platoon music services.

Von Bahr, who recently turned 80, said both BIS Records and Apple share a “fundamental belief in the importance of maintaining audio quality” and cited the iPhone maker's surround sound spatial audio technology as “something I follow with interest.”

“BIS's specialty, while paying tribute to the core repertoire, has been to nurture young classical artists and exciting living composers, and to protect the musical treasures we all represent for a long time,” von Bahr said in a statement. “Apple, with its own history of innovation and love of music, is the perfect home to usher in the next era of classical and has shown a true commitment to building a future in which classical music and technology work in harmony.

Apple did not respond to CNBC's request for comment on the deal price.

The acquisition is another example of Apple trying to differentiate itself from its streaming music rival Spotify with a focus on classical music.

In 2021, it bought classical music streaming service Primephonic for an undisclosed sum. In addition to allowing users to stream classical music, Primephonic has also created an extensive database containing information such as composers, orchestras and conductors, helping to create a more compelling experience for fans of the genre.

Finally, the tech giant last spring introduced its own Apple Music Classical streaming app, which will give current Apple Music subscribers access to more than five million classical tracks, searchable by data such as composer, conductor or catalog number.

In 2018, Apple bought Platoon, a small music distribution and technology firm, for an undisclosed sum. Apple eventually released an app called Platoon for Artists that aimed to help musicians promote their songs and view streaming analytics.

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