Amazon has launched a new lossless tier of its music service, called Amazon Music HD. The new HD tier costs $14.99 per month or $12.99 per month to Amazon Prime subscribers.
Amazon Music HD offers more than 50 million high-resolution tracks at CD quality and higher, courtesy of 16-bit files and sample rates of 44.1kHZ and above. It also promises “millions of tracks” in ultra high-def for the true music quality connoisseur.
It is available starting today in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. Users can access it through the Amazon Music app, Fire and Echo devices, and online. There’s even a free 90-day trial for anyone yet to subscribe.
Amazon’s new service undercuts Tidal’s $19.99 monthly Hi-Fi plan. It also ramps up competition against Spotify and Apple Music, neither of which offer a comparable tier.
“It’s a pretty big deal that one of the big three global streaming services is doing this,” Amazon VP of Music, Steve Boom, told The Verge. “We’re the first one.”
Will others follow suit?
If Amazon’s new lossless tier proves successful, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the likes of Apple follow suit. Apple uses the AAC format, which it has continued to stick with, rather than going high-def. The question, of course, is whether this strikes enough of a chord with users to make it a big selling point. It’s telling that neither of the most popular streaming music services have adopted lossless audio. Those that have, like Tidal, have (up until now) been bit-players.
Do you think Amazon’s bold move will force others to follow in its footsteps? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.