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Apple acquires 50-year old classical music label BIS Recor…

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Apple is making further strides into the classical music industry, following the launch of Apple Music Classical earlier this year.

The company has now acquired BIS Records, a 50-year old Swedish record label known for its focus on early and contemporary classical music.

Founded in 1973 by Robert von Bahr, the record label is headquartered in Akersbaga, Sweden. 

Von Bahr said the label has been known for nurturing emerging classical artists and promoting contemporary composers while preserving classical musical heritage. The 80-year-old founder said the decision to join Apple came after “much careful consideration” and a desire to expand the global reach of classical music.

“We thought long and hard on how to maintain and build upon our prestigious history and looked for a partner who would further our mission, as well as an increased global platform to bring classical music to new audiences all over the world,” von Bahr said in a statement on its website announcing the deal with Apple.

“Apple, with its own storied history of innovation and love of music, is the ideal home to usher in the next era of classical and has shown true commitment towards building a future in which classical music and technology work in harmony. It is my vision and my sincerest dream that we are all a part of this future,” he added.

“Apple, with its own storied history of innovation and love of music, is the ideal home to usher in the next era of classical and has shown true commitment towards building a future in which classical music and technology work in harmony.”

Robert Von Bahr, BIS Records

The move follows Apple’s acquisition of Netherlands-based classical music streaming service Primephonic in August 2021, with the intent of launching its own dedicated classical music app.

Apple launched its standalone Apple Music Classical app in late March, saying the app is “designed to deliver the listening experience classical music lovers deserve.”

The app boasts access to a catalog of over 5 million classical music tracks, including new releases and celebrated masterpieces.

Apple expanded the availability of the app to Android over three months ago.

BIS’s von Bahr said: “Apple and BIS also share a fundamental belief in the importance of preserving audio quality. As you are all aware, BIS has always been about exceptional sound quality, and Apple’s dedication to sound, as well as to Spatial Audio, is something I have followed with interest.”

Following the acquisition, BIS Records will become part of Apple Music Classical and Platoon and Apple will retain the entire personnel of BIS including von Bahr.

Apple acquired Platoon in December 2018.

“We all look forward to a future, filled with new music and artists in golden sound from this increased force in classical music,” von Bahr said.

Apple Music Classical now faces competition from STAGE+, a high-resolution classical music streaming service launched by Deutsche Grammophon, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, in November 2022.  

Hyperion Records, a classical label founded 43 years ago, recently started streaming for the first time after it was acquired by UMG in mid-March.

Music Business Worldwide

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