Qobuz kills MP3, Offers High-Res and CD Lossless for $14.99

In a bold move that could rock TIDAL’s boat, Qobuz, the French high-resolution and CD-lossless music streaming and download service, has eliminated lossy, MP3 files from its paid catalog.

Moving forward, all music will be available on Qobuz for one monthly price of $14.99 USD, or $12.50 USD with a yearly subscription.

The company says that eliminating the MP3 streaming tier from its service plans and consolidating the entirety of its high-res and 16-bit lossless libraries into one, low-priced offering makes it an industry leader in the pursuit of quality.

Dan Mackta, Managing Director of Qobuz USA, said “MP3 is really bad for music, artists, and listeners – so Qobuz is saying ‘no’ to MP3 and now offers only real studio quality in one accessible plan.”

Whether this could create a ripple effect in the industry with the more like-minded TIDAL, as oppsoed to Amazon, Spotify or Deezer (among others) following suit remains to be seen. I feel this consolidation/elimination offer is more in-line with Qobuz philosophy as a ‘music quality first’ provider, than the other companies which still remain heavily focused on lossy files due to bandwidth challenges faced by the bulk of their users who access MP3-quality streaming music services exclusively through their mobile devices.

This demographic is still enormous for Spotify, Deezer, Amazon and even TIDAL, as opposed to their smaller percentage of overall users who access streaming-music platforms via dedicated audiophile rigs. Which, to me, is more aligned with what I would consider your average audiophile Qobuz or TIDAL power user.

Regardless, this a change to the online-music landscape that is of note and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Will TIDAL users jump ship to Qobuz with the new offer? Personally, I feel both services compliment each other, and I’d be hard pressed to choose only one.

As an inducement to go along with the announcement, Qobuz is offering a limited time promotion in the new Studio Premier plan which is “available to the first 100,000 new Qobuz subscribers (plus existing users), who will receive unlimited access to over 50 million tracks in certified Hi-Res or CD lossless quality, along with Qobuz’s exclusive, in-depth editorial and metadata content, for $14.99 USD/month, or $149.99 USD/year). Qobuz will still offer its unique Sublime+ plan, now priced at $249.99 USD/year, which includes all the streaming offerings, plus a substantial discount on Hi-Res download purchases from the Qobuz store.”

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Topher's picture

Qobuz is certainly wooing American listeners. It's a pity this offer isn't extended to all, and Britain remains the most expensive place to be an audiophile:

US - $14.99 per month
France - €24.99 / $27.54 per month
UK - £24.99 / $32.07 per month

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