Amazon is preparing to release a high-fidelity music service that would rival major competitors like Spotify, Apple Music and TIDAL, according to reports.
The hi-fi plan will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 a month and have audio quality described as “better than CD quality,” which seems to target TIDAL, the highest profile hi-fi service (Spotify and Apple Music do not have a hi-fi option).
With this new venture, Amazon would be able to cover the market from both the high and low ends. Amazon has made hardware that would appeal to audiophiles as well, with stereo and sub Echos.
TIDAL caters to those customers with CD-quality streams at 44.1 kHz / 16 bit. It also has a Masters tier that rubs 96 kHz / 24 bit. The rate for Amazon’s upcoming service isn’t known.
“We understand that Amazon is currently in discussion with various large music rights-holders regarding the upcoming launch of a high fidelity music streaming platform — and that at least one major record company has already agreed to license it,” Music Business Worldwide wrote in a report.
Amazon users who want to hear music without ads can upgrade to Prime, which boasts a catalog of 2 million songs. There’s also Amazon Music Unlimited, which has 50 million songs and costs $3.99 a month on an Echo device. To stream it on multiple devices, it costs $9.99 a month, or $7.99 for Prime members.
A senior U.S.-based music industry source told MBW that “Amazon 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 hi-definition service — in addition to vinyl, CD, merch and more. We haven’t seen anything near what they’re capable of [doing] in music yet,” the source said. “So far, Spotify and Apple have resisted launching a higher-price streaming tier, and [the labels] have resisted giving more away for the same [$9.99 a month] price.”