Amazon has announced that its HD music service will be available at no additional cost to Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers. The tier features over 70 million songs and allows users to stream audio at CD quality and above, including what Amazon refers to as “Ultra HD” tracks.
The move means Amazon’s streaming customers will get lossless music for just $9.99 (or $7.99 if you’re a Prime member); Amazon Music HD previously cost $14.99 per month (or $12.99 for Prime customers). Most standard music streaming plans cost about $9.99 per month, so Amazon’s latest move sweetens the pot for those who want higher quality audio.
“When we first launched Amazon Music HD, our goal was to lead the industry be enabling music fans around the world to stream the best quality recording, the way artists intended their music to be heard,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music, in a statement to TechCrunch.
Amazon’s announcement coincides with Apple unveiling the launch of lossless audio on Apple Music, which will be available to customers in June at no extra cost. With most music streaming services achieving parity in terms of song selection, it seems the next move is to offer many of these songs in higher quality audio. Earlier this year, Spotify announced it was also planning to introduce a HiFi tier to its service, although pricing and a launch date are still unknown.
According to the most recently reported figures, Amazon Music Unlimited has around 55 million subscribers (as of early 2020), which trails behind Apple Music and Spotify, the latter of which is far ahead of the competition. Providing subscribers with lossless audio at no additional cost could potentially move the needle.
In addition to offering over 70 million songs in CD quality, Amazon’s catalog also includes over 7 million songs in ultra HD for the best possible listening experience.
“All music fans should have access to this quality of music, and now they do,” Boom said.