Nice to be able to bring you some good news today. A new high-definition streaming service, designed specifically for classical music, is being launched in the UK and USA by Primephonic, and it serves to tackle several of the biggest streaming frustrations for us all.
The company is a Utrecht-based online store that for a couple of years has had, as its USP, the downloading of studio-quality recordings. As any classical aficionado knows, sound quality has been a big problem for music on the Internet and Primephonic's capacity to bring us an improved experience has been a breath of fresh air in a muddy world. Every track is available to download in 16-bit FLAC file format, i.e. CD quality, and some are more sophisticated still, with availability in studio quality and "premium pro-studio quality" (explore the options here and in more detail here). They now have more than 100,000 tracks available to stream in high-res.
For the streaming service, Primephonic is also aiming to improve the experience for listeners and creators in two further ways: better metadata, which has long been a stumbling block online, and should improve the searching capacity that we need; and crucially, payment to providers. Instead of paying out per track listen, Primephonic plans to pay per second. This should hopefully ensure that more money goes to the classical labels and thence to the artists themselves - it stands, at the very least, a better chance of getting into the bank accounts of musical creators than it does at the moment.
According to Veronica Neo, the company's head of business development, "Primephonic provides a way for streaming to give back more than ever to the classical music industry and a sustainable way for fans to support their favourite artists. As a 100% classical music service, 100% of the revenues stay in the classical industry."
I've been writing for Primephonic's website for a couple of years, doing CD reviews and occasional features (most recently, a big piece about Philip Glass for their just-published print magazine). It's a great pleasure to be involved with a company that has homed straight in on those problems, is determined to find a way to solve them and is thinking big about the possibilities for the future.
You can get a free 30-day trial subscription to Primephonic or sign up for £14.99 per month, here.
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