Indie Music

Apple just bought a record label…

Apple has acquired the major Swedish classical music record label BIS Records and will fold it into Apple Music Classical and Apple’s distribution and creative services platform Platoon.

BIS Records is a 50-year-old classical music label founded in 1973 by Robert von Bahr, focusing on more obscure and underrecorded music. The award-winning label is also known for its focus on audio quality.

All of this fits well with Apple Music’s goal of being a dominant player in classical music, an aspiration best personified by the March launch of a separate Apple Music Classical app, which Apple Music subscribers can use at no additional cost.

Still, it is an unusual move for a streaming service that, like its competitors, depends on good relations with the record labels that license its music. Those same labels are now also Apple Music’s competitors.

Under Apple’s ownership, BIS will continue functioning as a full-service label, including releasing new music. “The entire personnel of BIS, including me, have been retained,” said Bahr. “We all look forward to a future filled with new music and artists in golden sound from this increased force in classical music.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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