Amazon is reportedly readying a new high definition premium music service, which could launch as early as the end of 2019. The new service could give Amazon an advantage over its competitors, Apple Music and Spotify.
Music Business Worldwide on Thursday reported Amazon is in talks with music rights holders to license tracks for a yet-to-be-announced high fidelity streaming service. One major record label has reportedly already agreed,
The report’s sources (“industry insiders”) say Amazon is targeting a $15 monthly subscription price, well above the $10 per month charged by Apple Music and Spotify, and the $8 per month asking price for Amazon’s Music Unlimited service.
The online retailer appears to be ready to join other companies, such as Tidal, that are targeting listeners willing to pay a price for high quality sound. Tidal offers CD-quality streaming (44.1 kHz / 16 bit FLAC) and a limited number of “Masters” tracks (96 kHz / 24 bit FLAC files with MQA encoding) through its $20 per month HiFi tier.
Details of Amazon’s alleged service haven’t been announced, including information such as song availability, bitrate numbers, compression and encoding methods. The reports sources do say Amazon is working to offer better-than-CD streams.
“It’s a better bit rate, better than CD quality,” said a source. “Amazon is working on it as we speak: they’re currently scoping out how much catalog they can get from everyone and how they’ll ingest it.”
The retail giant recently launched an ad-supported free tier of its existing music service, for owners of Echo devices and other Alexa-enabled devices.