It looks like Amazon might be planning an aggressive assault on the Hi-Fi music streaming industry.
According to Music Business Worldwide, Amazon wants to rival Tidal and Deezer with its own high-fidelity offering. It's even been in discussions with large music rights-holders, and one major record company has reportedly already agreed to license it. MBW described Amazon’s efforts as a "new tier" and said it will likely cost $15 per month when it launches before the end of 2019.
For that price, you'll get a better-than-CD quality bit rate. But Amazon is still in the middle of figuring out how much music content it'll get and offer. Keep in mind the hi-def music market is currently dominated by Tidal, which has a $19.99-per-month Hi-Fi subscription that streams CD-quality lossless tunes at 44.1 kHz / 16 bit. Tidal also offers ‘Masters’ quality at 96 kHz / 24 bit via desktop.
Deezer, too, has a Hi-Fi tier that streams music at 44.1 kHz / 16-bit via FLAC. It's standard price is $19.99 per month. As for Spotify and Apple Music, they don't yet offer high-fidelity audio, though we suspect Amazon's entry could spur them to get their act together.
If this report about Amazon is true, the online retailer will offer ever tier of recorded music: A free, limited catalogue through Prime; on-demand access to more than 50 million songs with Amazon Music Unlimited starting at $3.99 per month for a single Echo device; vinyls, CD, and even merchandise via the main Amazon site; and soon, hi-definition music streaming for $15 month.
We'll keep you posted as we learn more.