Amazon Reportedly Readying High-Fidelity Music Streaming Service for End of 2019

Amazon ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.ca/news/amazon-alexa-recordings/) might be getting into the high-fidelity realm of music streaming.

According to Music Business Worldwide ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/amazon-is-readying-a-hi-def-music-streaming-service/), who has allegedly heard “whispers” from several music industry sources, Amazon is reportedly in talks to license and offer a new premium music subscription service by the end of 2019 with high-fidelity music.

MBW says that Amazon is “currently in discussion with various large music rights-holders regarding the upcoming launch of a high fidelity music streaming platform” and claims that “at least one major record company” is already on board.

Rumored to launch by the end of 2019, the service would offer a superior bitrate than many rivals. “It’s a better bit rate, better than CD quality,” said one source. “Amazon is working on it as we speak: they’re currently scoping out how much catalog they can get from everyone and how they’ll ingest it.”

While already competing with market leader Spotify ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.ca/news/spotify-premium-duo/) and Apple Music ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.ca/news/rami-malek/), the latter now the market leader in the United States, Amazon’s new hi-fi service would compete more directly with Tidal and Deezer — the only music streaming services out there to offer high-fidelity music to subscribers.

According to the source, the intention appears to be to offer music at better-than-CD-quality, which means the service leapfrogs Spotify and Apple Music’s limited bitrate offerings. So, while TIDAL and Deezer offer these Hi-Fi quality tiers at $19.99 USD per month, Amazon is reportedly looking to sweep into the market with a $15 monthly fee.

A senior US-based music industry source said: “Think about it: Amazon ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.ca/news/amazon-echo-link-echo-amp-canada/) will have every tier of recorded music covered, from free streaming through to limited catalog via Prime, a full ‘Spotify rival’ in Music Unlimited and a high definition service – in addition to vinyl, CD, merch and more. We haven’t seen anything near what they’re capable of in music yet.”

Amazon Rumored to Launch High-Fidelity Music Streaming Platform By End of 2019

Amazon is reportedly readying a high-fidelity music streaming service that’s set to launch by the end of the year. According to Music Business Worldwide ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/amazon-is-readying-a-hi-def-music-streaming-service/), Amazon is in discussions with various large music rights-holders regarding the upcoming launch of the new streaming platform, which is likely to cost $15 per month.

“It’s a better bit rate, better than CD quality,” one source told MBW. “Amazon is working on it as we speak: they’re currently scoping out how much catalog they can get from everyone and how they’ll ingest it.”

Probably the best known hi-def music streaming service currently is Tidal’s HiFi plan, which costs $19.99 per month and offers CD-quality lossless streams at 44.1 kHz / 16 bit. Subscribers to the plan also benefit from Tidal’s partnership with MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) to deliver guaranteed master-quality recordings directly from the master source, which is billed as “an audio experience that the artist intended.”

The rationale behind this is that while HiFi audio is a superior sound, it’s still limited to 44.1 kHz / 16 bit resolution, whereas MQA audio is the highest possible resolution (typically 96 kHz / 24 bit). MBW understands that Amazon has not partnered with MQA for its own HD tier, suggesting it will use a different audio technology. It’s not clear though whether the hi-fi service will be a standalone platform or a new tier option to be offered as part of Amazon’s Music Unlimited service.

Apple Music ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/roundup/apple-music/) streams 256kbps AAC files across the board and doesn’t offer users a higher sound quality price plan, while Spotify uses the Ogg Vorbis format and lets Premium subscribers choose the bitrate depending on how they’re listening. On mobile you can elect to stream in Low (24 kbit/s), Normal (96 kbit/s), High (160 kbit/s) or Very High (320 kbit/s) quality, which is handy if you’re worried about using up your cellular data, but none of these options could be called “hi-fidelity” streaming.

  • Apple Music vs. Amazon Music Unlimited ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/guide/apple-music-vs-amazon-music/)

News of Amazon’s plans for a hi-fi audio streaming service comes a week after Amazon launched a free, ad-supported music streaming service ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/2019/04/18/amazon-launches-free-ad-supported-music-alexa/) for owners of devices that support Alexa, but who are otherwise not Prime or Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers.

Tag: Amazon ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/roundup/amazon/)

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