Amazon Music has become the biggest music-streaming service yet to add a higher-quality tier. Amazon Music HD launches in the US, UK, Germany and Japan this week.
It will cost $12.99 a month for Amazon Prime members and $14.99 a month for non-members. That’s $5 more than the cost of the existing Amazon Music service in each case, while undercutting the $19.99 price for Tidal and Deezer’s higher-quality tiers.
“The way the industry heretofore has priced this has been basically saying ‘we want this to be niche’. But I think the industry understands that sound quality isn’t niche,” Amazon Music VP Steve Boom told Music Ally ahead of the launch.
“We’re in the music business: why wouldn’t audio quality matter! And why would we want to reserve it just for a small group of people who are going to pay twice the cost of a regular subscription?”
Amazon will be offering a three-month trial of Amazon Music HD, including to existing Music Unlimited subscribers. The tier has more than 50m songs available in ‘HD’ quality – CD-quality, 16-bit 44.1kHz tracks – including “millions” of tracks in ‘Ultra HD quality’. The latter category covers a range of 24-bit tracks with sample rates from 44.1kHz to 192kHz.
“It will have what we believe to be the largest catalogue of lossless, uncompressed files in the industry,” said Boom, who described the HD / Ultra HD branding as an important sign of Amazon’s intent.
“It’s very important for us to demystify and simplify this area. It’s been difficult to understand! The first time you go on a website and try to look into lossless audio and are presented with all these different numbers. ‘I don’t know what any of that means!’” he said.
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Source: Music ally
Earlier this month, we reported on country star Martina McBride’s anger at Spotify’s recommendation algorithm, after its first 135 suggestions of tracks for a ‘country music’ playlist she was making were all by men.
Spotify’s head of artist and label marketing in Nashville, Brittany Schaffer, seemed to have smoothed over the waters with a coffee meeting and a promise (in an Instagram comment) of “working more closely with you and the other women who are instrumental to this industry”.
Now, though, McBride has been giving interviews explaining why she’s still cross with Spotify – including its lack of an official (corporate) statement on the matter. “How come they haven’t come out and said, ‘We’re working on this,’ whether it’s true or not?” she told People. “I find it shocking that they feel so indestructible that they don’t even take the time to make a comment about this.”
The post Martina McBride criticises Spotify again over playlist algorithm (and Spotify agrees) appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally
Angel Gambino has been in the digital trenches since the late 1990s. Her career has seen her work in early social gaming (for Gameplay·com); test the digital waters for TV (at the BBC and Viacom); and forge content strategies for social networking (Bebo).
In 2019, she’s putting the lessons learned to work in her current role as chief commercial officer at music-streaming firm Napster. Music Ally spoke to Gambino about her career memories, from getting Bill Gates to work with the BBC to what happened when Rupert Murdoch beat Viacom to the acquisition of MySpace – via her warning to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek in the early days of the “difficult and ugly” process of getting his company up and running.
Gambino’s career started at the epicentre of the first dotcom boom in San Francisco in the late 1990s. She remembers “this hope, this energy and this belief” at the time that technology could change society for the better.
The post Napster’s Angel Gambino talks tech, Ek and streaming’s evolution appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally