Amazon is apparently gearing up to release a Hi-Res Audio music streaming platform, according to a report by Music Business Worldwide.
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.
Citing “several high-placed music industry sources”, MBW describes the service as a “new tier” of Amazon Music Unlimited, and says that it will “likely be in the region of $15 per month”.
This works out at around £11 / AU$20 based on current conversion rates.
A rival for Tidal?
Hi-Res Audio is lossless audio capable of reproducing the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered from better-than-CD quality music sources; a sound that closely replicates the quality that the musicians and engineers were working with in the studio at the time of recording.
Currently Tidal is the best known music streaming service for Hi-Res Audio – you need to subscribe to Tidal’s ‘Hi-Fi tier’ to get access to Tidal Masters.
For $19.99 (£19.99 / AU$23.99) per month, you get access to around 30,000 Hi-Res tracks as well as HD videos. If Amazon can undercut this price while providing the same amount of content, Tidal could be in trouble.
So far, Spotify and Apple Music haven’t ventured into the world of Hi-Res Audio, perhaps in an effort to keep their subscription costs low. However, if Amazon’s rumored Hi-Res Audio streaming service becomes a reality, we could see other platforms stepping up the quality of their tracks.
The rumors of a new Amazon Music Unlimited tier comes after the company announced Echo users in the US will be able to use part of Amazon Music for free.
This includes any US user with a Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Echo Show and Amazon Echo Plus, who will be able to use a limited part of Amazon Music Unlimited right out of the box, without signing up for Prime Music through Amazon Prime, which costs $119 / £79 per year or AU$6.99 per month, or Amazon Music Unlimited ($7.99 / £7.99 per month for Prime members, $9.99 / $9.99 / AU $11.99 for non-Prime members).