While consumer need for a hi-res streaming services seems to have cooled down of late and most listeners seemingly content with CD-quality music, Qobux close to imminent launching its hi-res streaming and download platform in the US. The news comes on the same day that Sony became the first major label to launch its own hi-res streaming service.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
The fervor for high-resolution music streaming has died down in recent months, and it looked like everyone has finally settled on the current CD-level quality as sufficient enough for most users. That sentiment isn’t enough to stop hi-res streamer Qobuz from planning a launch for next year though, as the company recently opened up a New York City office and hired a number of well-known music executives.
Qobuz was founded in Paris in 2007 and is currently live in 11 European markets. It offers more than 40-million CD-quality tracks and over 2 million hi-res tracks with up to 24-bit resolution, but the company says that it has secured an additional multi-million track catalog ahead of its US launch. When the service does begin in the U.S., it will be available on all Mac, iOS, Android and Windows operating systems.
As with most hi-res services, you will also pay extra for the hi-res tier of Qobuz. It’s Sublime+ tier will cost $299.99 per year for access to the full hi-res catalog. As a bonus, the user will also be offered 40-60% discounts on hi-res download purchases as well.
The Studio tier will be $24.9 9per month or $249.99 annually for unlimited hi-res streaming. Its Hi-Fi tier will be priced at $19.99 per month or $199.99 annually for 16-bit CD quality, and its Premium tier will cost $9.99 per month for 320 kbps MP3 quality streaming, or the standard $99.99 annually.
While it’s not widespread, there is a market for high quality streaming music. Go to a hi-fi show anywhere and if an exhibitor isn’t playing back from vinyl then they’re streaming from Tidal. Deezer, another French company with a hi-res tier, hasn’t had much of an impact on North America yet, but that also means that there’s room Qobuz.
We keep waiting for Apple Music to turn on the hi-res tap, since the company has been collecting high-resolution masters for over 6 years now. That hasn’t happened yet and there’s no indication that such a move is imminent. That gives companies like Qobuz a chance in the marketplace, for now.