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The streaming model, as a subscription service, is one of the most interesting trends in modern loyalty. Increasingly, streaming services are becoming more niche (particularly as new video streaming services arise and exclusive contracts guarantee little overlapping content across platforms). Now, we’re seeing a niche audio streaming service.
Amazon has announced the launch of Amazon Music HD, a new tier of premium quality music with more than 50 million songs in high definition, and millions of songs in ultra high definition, the highest quality streaming audio available. At a rate of $12.99 per month for Prime members and $14.99 per month for Amazon customers, or an additional $5 per month for current subscribers (Individual or Family Plan), Amazon Music HD makes high quality, lossless audio accessible to all music fans.
Amazon Music HD is now available to stream in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. New subscribers to Amazon Music can receive a 90-day free trial, and current subscribers can try Amazon Music HD at no additional cost for 90 days.
“We spoke with many artists while developing Amazon Music HD, who were excited about the potential for fans to be able to stream their favorite music, and hear it as it was originally recorded,” says Steve Boom, Vice President of Amazon Music. “From rock to hip-hop to classical and pop, we believe listening to music at this level of sound will make customers fall in love again with their favorite music and artists. As we usher in a new listening experience for our customers and the industry, we’re combining the convenience of streaming with all of the emotion, power, clarity, and nuance of the original recordings.”
Amazon Music HD promises significantly improved audio quality than consumers living in the streaming era may be accustomed to. According to an Amazon press release, “Legendary albums including Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue become revelatory new experiences, almost as if the listener is sitting in on these storied studio sessions. Songs like Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Alright’ and St. Vincent’s ‘Digital Witness’ are also now available in ultra HD, revealing nuances that were once flattened in files compressed for digital streaming.”
“Earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high quality streaming to the masses,” says rock icon Neil Young. “This will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago.”
Amazon Music HD offers customers more than 50 million lossless HD songs, with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz (CD quality). In addition, customers can stream millions more songs in ultra HD (better than CD quality), with a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz.
Amazon Music HD will play the highest quality audio the customer’s device and network conditions will support. It is compatible with a wide variety of devices, including desktop, mobile (iOS & Android), select Echo devices, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets. Amazon Music HD is also compatible with many third-party devices, including most products from Denon and Marantz, HEOS Built-in, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Sonos, McIntosh, Sennheiser, and others.
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