QOBUZ MUSIC STREAMING TO LAUNCH IN US IN EARLY 2019
At the CEDIA Expo held in San Diego in sunny California earlier this year, the news from Qobuz for the USA was all systems go.
The music streaming service launched in Paris a decade ago, and it was speculated that it might launch into the lucrative US market a few weeks after CEDIA.
The anticipated Qobuz launch didn’t quite eventuate, but it now says its US launch will take place early in 2019.
Which is good news for US music lovers who have coveted the Qobuz high-quality streaming enjoyed by quality conscious audiophiles in 11 European markets.
The eminent US launch is bound to please those who subscribe to the theory that great music streaming services come to those prepared to wait.
So what’s delayed the post CEDIA launch?
Two things! One is getting the right clearance for any content provided by Qobuz, and the other is bound to be a matter of getting the platform right for the US including billing and royalties’ infrastructure.
But take Qobuz at its word and early 2019 will see a TIDAL rival launching with the support of a horde of audio brands. As for ROON support, well that’s a Qobuz work in progress.
Even so, when Qobuz does arrive subscribers will be able to dip into a vast catalogue of more than 80,000 hi-res albums with the emphasis on “hi-res”.
In practice, this means music streamed at 24-bit and better.
Subscriptions are expected to cost $9.99 per month or $99.99 yearly for the MP3-320 kbps Premium package. Those that opt for the CD quality 16-bit/44.1kHz subscription will pay $19.99 each month or $199 annually. The hi-res 24-bit up to 192kHz Studio package will command $24.99 per month or $249 annually.
Top of the Qobuz rung is a special plan called Sublime. This costs $299 per year and allows subscribers to buy hi-res tracks at a big discount said to be the same as iTunes pricing.
An excellent idea for those who want to “own” their music collection. This group can access Qobuz’s more than 80,000 albums and almost 2 million tracks.
For more information visit Qobuz.
One of the veteran journalists of the HiFi industry, if there's a speaker he's likely heard it or owned it at some point in his career. Peter was formerly the audio-video editor of the Herald Sun newspaper in Australia for over two decades.
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