Amazon Reportedly At Work On Hi-Def Music Streaming Service

Reports indicate that Amazon is currently hard at work getting ready to launch a new hi-def music streaming service aiming at audiophiles. Reports of the new hi-def streaming service come right on the heels of the online giant announcing last week that Amazon Echo owners could listen to streaming music for free.

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Word of the hi-def music streaming service comes from highly placed sources in the music industry reports Music Business Worldwide. The same sources claim that one major music label has already agreed to license its music to the platform.

The sources also claim that the cost of the streaming service is to be in the area of $15 monthly and Amazon is targeting a launch before the end of 2019. One of the sources said that the service would have a better bitrate and would offer better than CD quality.

Currently, the most hi-def streaming service out there is TIDAL offering a service that costs $19.99 per month with users getting CD-quality lossless streams at 44.1 kHz / 16-bit. It's unclear if Amazon plans to offer something similar to the "masters" quality offering that TIDAL sells to audiophiles offering 96 kHz / 24-bit streams. That music comes via a company called MQA, and there is no word of Amazon having teamed with MQA.

Some see Amazon's move as outmaneuvering Spotify and Apple Music. Both have yet to move into hi-def music, and at the rates they currently charge, labels are reluctant to give them more music. Amazon currently covers multiple tiers with free streaming, paid streaming via Prime membership with a limited catalog, a full Spotify rival with Music Unlimited, and now [alleged] hi-def streams coming. It also sells physical music via records and CDs.

In other news, we reported today that Amazon is also working on expanding its delivery network to include one-day shipping for Prime customers.