Classify – Home of Classical Music on Spotify

After the advent of digital music almost every music consumer wants to browse for old or new music favorites. But it’s not always hunky-dory. Especially not when browsing classical music on the streaming services. Classify from X 5 Music is an app for Spotify that makes the challenge considerably easier.

“What’s the name of that slow beautiful Mozart piece from that movie we saw? To begin with; was it an allegro or an adagio?”

Streaming services like Spotify has presented us music consumers to literally millions of beloved music tracks. Or unheard ones just waiting to be cherished. They’re just some browsing away. But it’s not always easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. On the contrary. Also Spotify employees willingly admits that browsing especially classical music on streaming services can be extremely frustrating.

Even if you’re fully aware about the difference between an allegro and an adagio it can be hard to find the most relaxing works of Mozart or Chopin.
The classify app from X 5 is a shortcut to the diamonds you’re digging for.

“The idea is to create a playlist for every possible need. Classify is aiming to be a Spotify home for Classical Music, a tool that gives instant and easy access to all the best classical music in the world”, says X5 Music Group CEO Johan Lagerlöf about the vision behind the app.

Classify allows users to easily browse a library of music by composer, era, mood, instrument and genre. So far Classify presents more than 1500 pre-selected playlists compiled by music professionals, with an expansion pace of more than 200 lists every month.

“We asked for offers on an app of this kind already a couple of years ago. But at the time we considered it too expensive. But then Spotify presented a standard that was both simple and functional”, says X5 Head of Marketing and co-founder Daniel Bäckström. He then adds: “We are not creating apps to earn money. The sole purpose is to simplify browsing.”

“If people are searching for classical music and they’re typing in “classical”, then you should have products that show up” says X 5 Music US CEO Scott Ambrose Reilly.

He adds:

“In most genres, that’s not the case. In classical, it now is.”

The Classify app was released in March 2012. X5 Music saw an immediate effect on sales in the US.

Johan Lagerlof explains:

“People use the Spotify free service as a discovery tool and then go to iTunes for buying their music. The recent sales spike for ‘50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music’ follows the same trend we have seen in Sweden, where there is a positive correlation between Spotify streaming and digital sales.”

“The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music” soon reached number 1 on the US iTunes Classical charts, and broke into the iTunes Top 200 album charts for the first time, hitting number 152. To X5 this clearly indicates that streaming access does not cannibalize sales.

The people at Spotify loves Classify:

“When Daniel presented it to the Spotify management one of the guys shouted enthusiastically “Wow! I really want that app!” muses Lagerlöf.

Classify is only the first of applications from X5. It will be followed by apps including Jukebox, a guide for consumers to the wide range of X5 music rock and roots music of the 50’s.

“The Jukebox app will come including the typical vinyl crackling of that era”, smiles Lagerlöf. He aptly makes this remark while browsing through a heap of old Sun records vinyls on his desk in the X 5 Music Stockholm head office.

The immense Sun catalogue will of course be one main source for the Jukebox content, but X 5 is now adding rock’n’roll classics to its archive literally by the hour. The same goes for jazz, world, indie, and many more genres. More X 5 apps will be presented to make browsing less time-consuming while at the same time adding to the music experience.

Lagerlöf considers the existing apps to be just the beginning of a new era in means of presenting music:

“Apps will be the albums of the future. A wider context, a larger experience over time.”

He continues:

“The British chain Tesco made a survey to find out why people tend to browse CD racks even after they’ve finished buying physical albums. I want to browse” was the answer Tesco got. Music is something you like to browse, but on Spotify it hasn’t really been possible. Classify as well as all our new apps are made for the pleasure of browsing.”