As the largest online retailer and one of the wealthiest companies in the world, Amazon seems to have their hand in a bit of everything. They own a variety of successful business, including the popular grocery chain Whole Foods, online companies such as Zappos and Internet Movie Database, IMDb.
To accompany their other business ventures, the rise of streaming is a trend Amazon definitely did not sleep on, either. Amazon Prime Video is one of the top movie and TV streaming services, alongside popular services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now/Go, and PlayStation Vue.
So far, we chart Amazon in the online retail business, health-food grocer business, TV and movie streaming business, and more. They are a multimedia company and an advanced technology company. What else is left for Amazon to take on? Answer: the music industry.
Amazon just launched Amazon Music HD, which competes with popular music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. Prior to launching their HD music streaming service, Amazon already had Amazon Prime Music which was available for free to Prime subscribers. Their new, high definition service claims to offer lossless audio at up to 850 kbps (more than double the bit-rate of Spotify and Apple Music). Their main competetor for this kind of advanced audio is Jay-Z’s Hi-Fi Tidal plan, which can be purchased at $19.99 per month. Amazon’s new HD music streaming service charges $14.99 per month, and offers a $2 discount if you are a Prime subscriber.
According to Amazon’s Vice President of Music, Steve Boom, Amazon is not going for a “niche player” type service, but rather aim to disrupt the current top dogs, Apple and Spotify. I find myself wondering if their proclaimed advanced audio will hit the average ear in a way that makes consumers want to switch from their trusted streaming services. In Amazons recent press release, Neil Young spoke to the topic saying that Amazon’s new high quality streaming service “will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago”. A bold statement from a true music legend.
Amazon Music HD and Ultra HD launches September 17th, 2019.