Amazon takes on Tidal with new high-def music streaming service

(Amazon Image)

Amazon expanded its streaming music subscription service on Tuesday, rolling out a new high-definition option that competes with similar offerings from Tidal and others.

Amazon Music HD includes more than 50 million songs with “lossless” audio, which Amazon describes as CD quality, with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz. There are also millions of songs in “Ultra HD” with 24 bits and up to 192 kHz.

The HD service costs $12.99 per month for Amazon Prime members and $14.99 for everyone else. For current Amazon Music subscribers, it’s an extra $5 per month. Songs can be streamed or downloaded using the Amazon Music app.

In a press release, Amazon said the service will reveal audio nuances “that were once flattened in files.”

“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 VP Steve Boom said in a statement.

Amazon even included a quote from rock legend Neil Young in its release.

“Earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high quality streaming to the masses,” Young said in statement. “This will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago.”

Tidal charges $19.99 per month for its own high-def option. Other digital services that offer “lossless” audio include HDtracks, Deezer, and Qobuz.

Amazon Music HD is available today in the U.S.; U.K.; Germany; and Japan.

Amazon has been investing in its streaming music arm. Though it trails Spotify and Apple in terms of total subscribers, Amazon Music grew its user base 70 percent over the past year, according to a recent Financial Times report.

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