Primephonic app and web player

Together with Dutch start-up Primephonic, we developed a new streaming app to save classical music from extinction.

Saving classical music from extinction. With this ultimate goal, Dutch start-up Primephonic came to us in 2018. The previous mobile app of the streaming service failed because of a faulty user experience. Our challenge? To build the Spotify for classical music. But with better search results, higher sound quality, more background information and unique metadata.

Fortunately, there are plenty of music lovers around at Q42 who were eager to pick up that glove. Many Q-ers lined up to work on this project. In addition to the love of music, it combines everything that makes us enthusiastic: challenging technology, making something simple for end users, and a mission that we can proudly support.

Together with Primephonic, we mapped out a path to relaunch the iOS and Android apps and build a new web player. Not only did the stability, sound quality and user experience need to be improved. Converting users to paying subscribers, in particular, was an important spearhead in building.

We started development with a well thought-out data model. Well-known streaming services such as Spotify, primarily aimed at pop music, fall short in the search and browsing of classical works. Where in pop music at most three parameters are used (album, song, artist), there are many more in classical music (composer, work, conductor, orchestra, soloist, choir, etc.). By taking this data model as a starting point, users of the app can search more specifically and more relevant recommendations are made in the Primephonic app.

What is also special about the concept is the choice to use the API in a specific way. Where it normally only provides data and does nothing with the layout of the app, Primephonic's API functions in a different way. The app and web player contain the puzzle pieces (UI elements) and the API determines which UI elements are used. In this way, iOS, Android and web in terms of UI are directly adjustable from the API.

Thinking along on a technical-strategic level, the personal click with the product and the opportunity to make an impact: no wonder Primephonic formed one of our most beautiful partnerships!

Primephonic was honored as a Webby Honoree in 2019, an official mention stating that the app is among the 20% best Webby cases worldwide.

In 2021, three years after the launch of the new application, Primephonic was acquired by Apple. The goal of saving classical music from digital demise has thus certainly been achieved. The interface we created for the new app in 2018 forms the basis for a standalone Apple Music app focused on classical music.