The music streaming war is inching towards a titanic shift. Earlier today, Apple announced that lossless music streaming is now available as a freebie to all Apple Music users. Well, Amazon is answering with its own ‘free’ upgrade. The e-commerce giant has announced that Amazon Music HD – the paid tier of its HiFi music streaming service – is now available at no additional cost to its Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers. Earlier, users had to fork out an additional $5 per month to access the Amazon Music HD library of high-fidelity songs.
Earlier, users had to pay extra on top of Amazon Music Unlimited subscription to access lossless music
Now, all Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can enjoy lossless music from Amazon Music HD’s catalog without paying an extra dollar. As for the asking price, Amazon Music Unlimited costs $9.99 per month for the average joe ($7.99 per month for Prime members and $14.99 per month for those on its Family Plan) and will include Amazon Music HD access as a perk starting with their next billing cycle. However, do keep in mind that the perk is only available in a select few regions that include US, UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain. In some countries like India, Amazon bundles Amazon Music as a freebie for Prime subscribers, but the catalog is limited and there’s no lossless streaming available in these regions.
— Amazon Music (@amazonmusic) May 17, 2021
Coming to the technical side of things, the company says that Amazon Music HD has a collection of over 70 million songs that you stream in CD-quality audio with 16-bit depth and a sample rate of 44.1KHz at up to 850kbps. Plus, there are over 7 million songs that you can stream in Ultra HD quality (better than CD quality, says Amazon) with up to 24-bit depth, a sample rate of 192kHz, and up to 3,730kbps bitrate. Of course, the latter is Hi-Res certified and is the best experience that you can get if you have the expensive listening gear at your disposal.
How it impacts the competition?
Is this yet another carrot and stick scheme?