Apple acquires established classical music label BIS Records

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BIS Records, renowned for its dedication to classical music, has consistently showcased exceptional talent from around the world since its inception in 1973 in Akersbaga, Sweden, making it a cornerstone of the global music industry.

Apple is making further progress in the classical music sector, following the introduction of Apple Music Classical earlier this year. The tech giant Apple has recently acquired BIS Records, a well-established Swedish record label with a 50-year history, known for its dedication to both early and contemporary classical music.

BIS Records is set to integrate into Apple Music Classical and Platoon, which the company acquired in 2018, with Apple retaining all BIS employees, including von Bahr.

Von Bahr emphasized the label’s commitment to nurturing emerging classical talents, promoting contemporary composers, and safeguarding the classical musical legacy. According to the 80-year-old founder, the decision to join Apple came after extensive contemplation and the desire to expand the global reach of classical music.

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“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 explained in a statement on the label’s website. “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.

This move follows Apple’s acquisition of the Netherlands-based classical music streaming service Primephonic in 2021, with the intention of launching its dedicated classical music app. Apple introduced the standalone Apple Music Classical app in March. The app provides access to a catalog of over five million classical music tracks, consisting of both contemporary releases and timeless classics.

Von Bahr from BIS Records highlighted, “As proud as I am of this milestone, I am even more proud of the fact that the entire personnel of BIS, including me, have been retained. We all look forward to a future, filled with new music and artists in golden sound from this increased force in classical music.”

The move also comes as Apple Music Classical now faces competition from STAGE+, a classical music streaming service launched in 2022 by Deutsche Grammophon, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label, ventured into streaming following its acquisition by UMG in March.

Image Credits: © Bangyu Wang @bangyuwang | Unsplash

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