Good grief! Lossless streaming provision is really hotting up today. Presumably responding to Apple Music’s ‘lossless’ announcement, Amazon Music is seeking to follow suit by offering its HD service at no additional cost to all Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers. That means: 70 million songs in CD-quality (something Amazon calls ‘HD’); 7 million songs in hi-res (which Amazon calls ‘Ultra HD’); and a smattering of 3D Audio by way of Dolby Atmos and Sony 360RA.
This offer is currently rolling out to users in Germany, the USA, Great Britain, Canada, France, Italy and Spain.
The upshot? In the USA, Amazon Music HD will be available at the same price as Apple Music – US$9.99/month – with Prime people getting their HD fix for US$7.99/month.
The European press release runs below.
However, the biggest takeaway from today’s game of lossless streaming point and counterpoint is that the two of the largest streaming services on the planet have woken up to the realisation that everyone should be charged the same price for music streaming, irrespective of the stream’s bitrate. In one day, Apple and Amazon have made paying extra for higher quality streams of the same content look a little quaint.
Further information: Amazon Music
Seattle, May 17, 2021 – Amazon Music today announced that Amazon Music HD is available immediately to all Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers at no additional cost, giving even more music fans access to premium sound quality streaming. In 2019, Neil Young called the launch of HD Audio for Amazon “the greatest event in music history since the introduction of digital audio”. Now more and more fans can stream music with all of its depth, vibrancy and emotion from the original recording. More information about Amazon Music HD is available here
“When we launched Amazon Music HD, our goal was to make a mark in the industry and enable music fans around the world to stream music in the best possible recording quality that the artist intended,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music. “We are thrilled that we can now make Amazon Music HD available to everyone at no additional cost. All music fans should have access to premium quality music and we made that possible! “
Amazon Music HD offers more than 70 million HD songs with no quality loss with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1 kHz (“CD quality”). In addition, customers have access to more than 7 million additional tracks in Ultra HD (better than “CD quality”) with a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate of up to 192 kHz, which contains even more nuances and which are heavily compressed earlier for digital streaming were. Since launching in 2019, Amazon Music HD has added more than 5 million songs in Ultra HD, giving customers the largest selection of music in Ultra HD. With Amazon Music HD, customers also have access to a constantly growing catalog of 3D audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360RA. Listeners can enjoy these specially mixed tracks in 3D on Amazon’s groundbreaking hi-fi smart speaker Echo Studio. Music in 360RA can also be streamed through Sony’s RA5000 and RA3000 speakers with Alexa Cast on Amazon Music HD.
New customers and subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited Standard membership, which costs EUR 7.99 / month for Prime members and EUR 9.99 / month without Prime membership, or family membership for EUR 14.99 / month, can now easily upgrade to Amazon Music HD at no additional cost. Amazon Music HD previously cost subscribers of standard or family membership an additional 5 EUR / month. For all current subscribers to Amazon Music HD, these additional costs for HD will not apply with the next billing cycle.