Amazon Music launched HD streaming, Neil Young approves
Amazon has come out ahead of Spotify and Apple Music, becoming the first of the three streaming titans to offering a high definition, "lossless audio" service. Amazon Music HD is available now in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan for $14.99 per month, or $12.99 a month for Amazon Prime subscribers, and current Amazon Music users can upgrade for an additional $5/month. There's also a 90-day free trial available
According to Amazon, 50 million songs are available in CD-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz with the new service, with additional millions available in up to 24-bit/192kHz "Ultra HD."
"Earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high quality streaming to the masses," according to Neil Young, who's quoted in Amazon's press release about the service, and finally killed off his own high-quality Pono player in 2017. "This will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago."
Amazon Music VP Steve Boom says, "we're at a point in the evolution of music streaming where audio quality has gone from niche to mass market. Just like streaming moved from early-adopter music fans to now, where it's ubiquitous."
Spotify, on the other hand, isn't currently interested in exploring an HD option. As Variety reports, VP and head of investor relations Paul Vogel recently said, "we haven’t talked much about [a high-fidelty option]. If you go back and look at it, it’s not really something that’s been a big differentiator among the different services. It’s really about user interface, algorithms, playlists, discoverability and those type of things. So I wouldn’t say never, but we think that in terms of what consumers are looking for, it’s not something that’s really resonated."