The battle for high fidelity music streaming has suddenly become much more intense. Around the same time that Apple Music announced a lossless streaming option, Amazon made its Music HD plan available to Music Unlimited subscribers at no additional cost. from now on in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, France, Italy and Spain.
Music Unlimited members in these countries now have access to over 70 million songs in High Definition, over 7 million in Ultra HD and “a rapidly growing catalog of 3D audio, including songs mixed in Dolby Atmos and Sony 360RA ”, according to Amazon. HD lossless songs have a 16-bit bit depth and a CD-quality sample rate of 44.1 kHz. Ultra HD streaming, on the other hand, has a 24-bit bit depth and a sample rate of up to 192 kHz.
Music Unlimited costs $ 10 per month or $ 8 per month if you are a Prime member. A family plan costs $ 15 per month. Amazon previously charged a $ 5 premium for Music HD, with the plan costing $ 15 per month or $ 13 for Prime members.
The announcement puts Amazon and Apple on a level playing field when it comes to HD music streaming prices. Apple also announced on Monday that it will bring lossless audio and spatial audio with Dolby Atmos to subscribers next month at no additional cost. Apple Music costs $ 10 per month for individuals or $ 15 / month for a family plan.
Amazon launched Music HD in September 2019 for $ 5 per month less than other lossless music streaming packages. Deezer and Qobuz lowered their hi-res subscriptions to $ 15 / month to match Amazon while Tidal kept their HIFi service at $ 20 / month. It remains to be seen whether other platforms will match Amazon’s and Apple’s HD prices. Spotify announced in February that it would roll out its HiFi plan in “select markets” this year, but did not confirm pricing at the time.
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