Amazon May Push Into Hi-Res Audio

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Amazon hi-res audio music streaming

Amazon is preparing to launch a new Hi-Res Audio music streaming service that would undercut the monthly fees charged by rival high end audio services.

According to Music Business Worldwide, Amazon is planning a better-than-CD-quality service expected to launch by the end of the year.  The publication said “several high-placed music industry sources” expect the cost of the service will be about $15/month.  Tidal currently charges $20/month and Qobuz charges $25/month for their quality audio services.

Hi-Res Audio is defined by many as music at better-than-CD-quality.  CD has a bit rate of 1,411 Kbps, while Spotify only streams at 320 Kbps and Apple Music’s best offering streams at 256 Kbps (as do Amazon’s current music streaming services), said The Verge. Tidal and Deezer stream at CD quality, said Music Business Worldwide, which reports that at least one major record company has agreed to license to the new Amazon service.

It quoted a music industry source as saying of Amazon, “We haven’t seen anything near what they’re capable of in music yet.”

Less than two weeks ago, Amazon launched a free music streaming service (with ad support) via Alexa devices.  It now offers several streaming audio tiers including 2 million tracks included with Prime and a step-up Unlimited service with 48 million tracks at prices ranging from about $4 to $10/month depending on whether you are a Prime member and on the number of Echo devices you use.

Many car audio shops such as Car Toys are beginning to push Hi-Res Audio as are many car audio suppliers.

Source: Music Business Worldwide, The Verge, CNET

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