Review Primephonic classical streaming service


  • Nice app with good search functions
  • Possibility to download playlists
  • Good sound quality
  • Comprehensive catalogue that grows


  • Metadata can be extended
  • No Roon integration
  • Library



    Friend and foe now agree that Spotify has saved the music industry. Although as an audio platform we have a preference for streaming services like Tidal and Qobuz that offer lossless and high res audio, we secretly like Spotify as an interface. It works just fine, fast and since Spotify turned off the loudness, the sound quality is surprisingly good…. But what if you listen mostly classical? We’re looking at Primephonic. A service specifically for the lover of Classics

    Spotify (and by the way also of the other well-known platforms), focuses mainly on pop music. Those who like to listen to classical music look for other criteria. Think composer, performing artist, orchestra, composition. And the range of classical music on offer in the aforementioned streaming services is extremely meagre. Another problem is the length of classical music in relation to the fee. The well-known streaming services work with a fee per track; for a symphony lasting 45 minutes, however, there are only three ‘tracks’ that are charged as such to the artist. A similar pop album has 12 tracks. Count your loss as a classical composer or artist.

    That must be different, thought the people who founded Primephonic. With Amsterdam as their base, they started working with a new search engine that, in terms of metadata, focuses on searching and finding classical music. The second pillar is that the music is offered in the highest possible quality. And the third pillar is the earning model; Primephonic works with ‘pay per second’ to overcome the problem outlined above of paying per streamed track. The longer a piece is listened to, the higher the fee.

    Until mid-June 2019, the American-Dutch Primephonic was only available in the Netherlands, the US and the United Kingdom. At the time of writing, the reach is now all over Europe; a global ‘rollout’ of Primephonic is planned.

    The challenge

    The worldwide market share of classical music in terms of music sales (sound carriers, downloads) is 5%. If you don’t think that much, then you will be completely shocked by the share of classical streamed music in relation to the total of streaming music: that’s only 1%. So it’s a good thing that Primephonic has set itself the goal of doing something about this. And we also think this is a new target group. Classical music lovers still buy CDs and will find it attractive to listen to many performances of a particular piece.


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