Qobuz To Bring Ultra Hi-Res Audio Streaming To U.S.
Spotify, Apple Music and other music streamers have been eyeing high resolution streaming music as a way to charge some users more. While they consider following Tidal and Deezer's lead into Hi-Res, French streamer Qobuz, which calls itself “ the highest resolution music streaming service in the world,” is launching in U.S.
French audio streaming service Qobuz, which touts itself as “ the highest resolution music streaming service in the world,” is coming to the U.S. to try its luck against apps like Spotify and Apple Music.
The service claims a music catalog of 40 million tracks and says it is the only service to offer more than 1 million high-resolution tracks, and works on the most popular platforms – Mac, iOS, Android and Windows. It’s debut is expected sometime mid-2018.
The music is offered in quality “that is superior to most other platforms, at the very least in FLAC Open-Source format in 16-Bit/44.1 kHz quality, similar to CD quality, and far superior to your typical Lossy (such as MP3) streaming music service.”
That lossless model would be similar to Tidal, which touts file formats FLAC and ALAC with a 1411Kbps bitrate, geared toward consumers owning high quality headphones or stereo equipment. Qobuz says it is integrated with “all of the most prestigious Hi-Fi brands” such as Sonos and Marc Levison.
The timing may be serendipitous for Qobuz as a report from Norway’s Dagens Næringsliv says Tidal is running out of money and user growth has stalled. However, Qobuz doesn’t appear to be taking the world by storm: it is available in 11 European countries but has between 100,000 to 500,000 installs, according to Google Play, as noted by AndroidPolice.com. Meanwhile, the company, founded in 2007, filed to the French equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2014, according to LesEchos.fr.
However, Qobuz appears to be aimed at a niche market, noting it lures “art and culture enthusiasts” and has a “solid reputation” with fans of classical, jazz and genres like classic rock.
Pricing was unavailable at press time but in Europe it is at £9.99 a month for a Premium service an £19.99 a month for Hi-Fi service.