Amazon makes its lossless music streaming service a free upgrade – TechCrunch


At the heels of this morning’s announcement of Apple’s next-generation track provider that includes lossless audio and spatial audio with strengthen for Dolby Atmos, Amazon is creating a transfer most likely geared toward protecting its personal streaming track subscribers. The corporate says that going ahead, its top quality streaming tier, Amazon Song HD, will probably be made to be had to all eligible Amazon Song Limitless subscribers at no further price.

Amazon first introduced Amazon Song HD in fall 2019 with get admission to to over 50 million songs that may movement in what Amazon is looking HD, with slightly intensity of 16 bits and a pattern price of 44.1kHz (round CD-quality). It additionally promised “hundreds of thousands” extra songs that may movement in Extremely HD, or 24-bit, with a pattern price of as much as 192kHz (or higher than CD high quality).

These days, Amazon Song’s HD catalog has grown to greater than 70 million songs and there are over 7 million Extremely HD tracks to be had. Amazon Song HD consumers too can get admission to a rising catalog of songs remixed in 3-D Audio codecs akin to Dolby Atmos and Sony 360RA, which will also be performed again on Amazon’s personal high-fidelity speaker, the Echo Studio.

Song in 360RA can be streamed by the use of Amazon Song HD on Sony’s RA5000 and RA3000 audio system by way of the use of Alexa Forged, the corporate notes.

The release of HD streaming used to be observed to be able to counteract the danger from the track streaming provider Tidal, which have been catering to audiophiles with upper high quality streams, as neatly to be able to differentiate its provider from better streaming competitors, like Apple and Spotify — the latter which just lately introduced a high-end subscription of its personal, Spotify HiFi, whose pricing and release date is but unknown.

Sooner than nowadays, Amazon Song HD used to be priced at $12.99 per thirty days for Amazon Top subscribers and $14.99 per thirty days for any individual else. Now, Amazon says that new and current subscribers to the Amazon Song Limitless Particular person Plan ($7.99/month for Top participants and $9.99/month differently) or the Circle of relatives Plan ($14.99/month) can improve to Amazon Song HD at no further price — necessarily a $5 per thirty days financial savings.

The adjustments will kick in on the subsequent billing cycle, and are supported within the U.S., U.Ok., Germany, Canada, France, Italy and Spain.

“After we first introduced Amazon Song HD, our function used to be to guide the trade by way of enabling track lovers around the globe to movement the most productive high quality recording, the best way artists meant their track to be heard,” mentioned Steve Increase, VP of Amazon Song, in a observation about nowadays’s information. “We’re extremely joyful now to make Amazon Song HD to be had to everybody at no further price. All track lovers will have to have get admission to to this high quality of track, and now they do,” he added.

The transfer by way of Amazon to make its HD catalog a loose improve follows this morning’s announcement from Apple that it’s going to upload lossless audio to Apple Song at no further price, beginning subsequent month. Apple touts over 75 million songs in lossless audio. The improve may even carry spatial audio with strengthen for Dolby Atmos. Given the shift out there, the drive is on Spotify to make its HiFi track provider competitively priced, as neatly.

Amazon Song Limitless has been observed because the darkish horse of track streaming, given its doable to develop to a bigger measurement merely in accordance with its ties with Amazon’s in style Top subscription. The provider had 55 million subscribers since early 2020, however Amazon declined to supply an up to date determine nowadays. For comparability, Apple Song introduced 60 million subscribers in 2019 and used to be estimated to have grown to 72 million by way of early 2020 and most likely greater than 80 million by way of now. Spotify, in the meantime, has 158 million paid subscribers.

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