Amazon today introduced a new tier of Amazon Music, called Amazon Music HD, which offers lossless versions of audio files for streaming or downloading. This tier will cost $14.99/month, or $12.99/month for Amazon Prime members (via The Verge).

amazon music hd
Amazon is offering a catalog of over 50 million songs in "High Definition," which are songs with CD-quality bit depth of 16 bits and a 44.1kHz sample rate. Then, there are "millions" of songs in Ultra HD, meaning they have 24-bit and sample rates that range from 44.1kHz up to 192kHz.

All of these songs will be delivered in a lossless FLAC file format. Amazon is hoping that being the first of the so-called big three streaming music services (Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Spotify) to offer lossless streaming will win some converts. Tidal has always offered lossless streaming as one of its main selling points, but its price is $19.99/month, which Amazon is now undercutting.

Amazon’s VP of Music, Steve Boom says that “It’s a pretty big deal that one of the big three global streaming services is doing this — we’re the first one.” Amazon Music isn’t often in the conversation about music streaming competition, which usually ends up following a Spotify vs. Apple Music narrative. But Amazon considers itself in their company, and with the new HD offering it’s looking to differentiate itself and perhaps raise its profile.

According to reports from earlier this year, Amazon Music had 32 million subscribers as of April 2019. That compares to the 60 million subscribers gained by Apple Music as of June 2019, and the 100 million Spotify Premium subscribers as of April 2019.

Top Rated Comments

LeeTom Avatar
60 months ago
Apple already has its exclusive Mastered for iTunes offering which in many ways is better than this.
Mastered for iTunes is nowhere near better than lossless in any way whatsoever.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dominiongamma Avatar
60 months ago
Apple, what are you waiting for?
Waiting for Apple fans say we don’t need it or they can’t hear the difference
[doublepost=1568728133][/doublepost]
Apple already has its exclusive Mastered for iTunes offering which in many ways is better than this.
It’s not lossless I’m guessing or they would have bragged about it
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OllyW Avatar
60 months ago
People will definitely notice the difference in data use.
I would guess it's aimed more at home users with decent hi-fi systems than mobile users.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dominiongamma Avatar
60 months ago
Time for Apple to step it up
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Marco Klobas Avatar
60 months ago
Apple, what are you waiting for?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
QquegChristian Avatar
60 months ago
Unbelievable to see anyone defend Apple when higher quality exists. Apple doesn’t have to offer it but they shouldn’t be applauded for not offering either. If the HomePod (I kinda want one) is as good as people say, shouldn’t it benefit from higher resolution audio? If it can’t benefit from higher quality on a technical level than that is what Apple should be striving to accommodate.

The new iPhone is in Dolby Atmos!

Why are we picking and choosing as to when audio quality matters?

Personally, I hear no difference between 16 and 24 bits but I can hear the difference between streaming and a 16 bit uncompressed CD.

But whether I can hear the difference or not, if I’m paying for the music, I want to know that I’m being sent whatever the artist wants to send me. No one can account for the wide array of playback options but I would love to start at a higher quality.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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