Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can now access the HD library at no extra cost

jsilva

Posts: 127   +1
Staff
What just happened? As more companies are starting to support lossless CD-quality music streaming, Amazon has decided to remove the extra fee of the Amazon Music HD tier. From now on, Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can access the library of high-quality audio at no extra cost, making it by far the most affordable HD music streaming service on the market.

Since its introduction in September 2019, Amazon Music subscribers had the option to pay an extra $5 on top of its Music Unlimited subscription for high-def audio. Now that option is included with Amazon Music Unlimited in the $9.99 monthly subscription, or $7.99 if they are subscribed to Prime, making it the cheapest streaming service providing users with high-fidelity music.

Amazon's announcement comes soon after Apple shared that its streaming service would support lossless audio starting next month. Spotify is also expecting to release the Hi-Fi service tier later this year.

If you have an Amazon Music Unlimited personal or family plan, you now have access to +75M CD-quality songs (up to 850Kbps) and +7M songs in Hi-Res (up to 3730Kbps). Amazon Music Unlimited Student plans don't have access to Amazon Music HD.

"When we first launched Amazon Music HD, our goal was to lead the industry by enabling music fans around the world to stream the best quality recording, the way artists intended their music to be heard," said the VP of Amazon Music Steve Boom. "We're thrilled now to make Amazon Music HD available to everyone at no extra cost. All music fans should have access to this quality of music, and now they do!"

When Amazon introduced Amazon Music HD in September 2019 at $14.99, other streaming platforms reduced the pricing of their services to match that of Amazon. Back then, a Hi-Fi music streaming service like Tidal and Deezer averaged $19.99.

Amazon is also offering a limited-time promo where new subscribers of Amazon Music HD can try the service for free for three months.

Masthead credit: Ilias Chebbi

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Lounds

Posts: 863   +764
I highly doubt the average person will be able to tell the difference between HD and Ultra HD music. MP3 to Wav I can tell but I can't imagine telling the difference at an even higher quality without some seriously expensive sound setup.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 716   +1,278
This always reminds me of how much I do *NOT* want Amazon Music unlimited: How come that I can get thousands of hours of (in theory) high production value movies and tv content at (mostly) no additional charges with Prime, but a couple of songs? Woah are you crazy?! Those cost thousands of dollars to produce nowadays, is not like they're movies that costs millions, we can't just give you that for free with Prime!

Seriously disgusting how much power the music industry still commands by just looking at how incredibly greedy they are with deals like the ones for Amazon Music, Play Music, Apple Music, etc. Vs streaming video content that for all intent and purposes it's orders of magnitude more valuable and harder to produce, maintain and transmit.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 427   +575
So, are we getting aligned pricing on music we purchase, too, Big Music? Or are we going to keep having to pay 20-40 euros for re-encodings of 30 year old albums?
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,684   +3,549
TechSpot Elite
This always reminds me of how much I do *NOT* want Amazon Music unlimited: How come that I can get thousands of hours of (in theory) high production value movies and tv content at (mostly) no additional charges with Prime, but a couple of songs? Woah are you crazy?! Those cost thousands of dollars to produce nowadays, is not like they're movies that costs millions, we can't just give you that for free with Prime!

Seriously disgusting how much power the music industry still commands by just looking at how incredibly greedy they are with deals like the ones for Amazon Music, Play Music, Apple Music, etc. Vs streaming video content that for all intent and purposes it's orders of magnitude more valuable and harder to produce, maintain and transmit.
Let's be serious here, 10$ for what they are offering isn't bad. You seem to have forgotten just how expensive music used to be, especially if you wanted the best quality.
 
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Dimitriid

Posts: 716   +1,278
Let's be serious here, 10$ for what they are offering isn't bad. You seem to have forgotten just how expensive music used to be, especially if you wanted the best quality.

You think there's a single music Album that's more expensive to produce than even the cheapest of movies? Just the audio on a movie usually requires a full music studio and music producer working on both AR, effects and soundtrack.

This is like saying 'You don't know how expensive shoes can be" when I am saying shoes should never be more expensive than cars: It's very self evident not more expensive to produce shoes, they just get more expensive due to market forces and those are easily manipulated, same as with music products.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,684   +3,549
TechSpot Elite
You think there's a single music Album that's more expensive to produce than even the cheapest of movies? Just the audio on a movie usually requires a full music studio and music producer working on both AR, effects and soundtrack.

This is like saying 'You don't know how expensive shoes can be" when I am saying shoes should never be more expensive than cars: It's very self evident not more expensive to produce shoes, they just get more expensive due to market forces and those are easily manipulated, same as with music products.
You are talking about 1 album vs 1 movie. Care to tell me how many albums there are in total? There are over 60 million songs on Amazon Music. Your argument is just weird dude, it makes zero sense in this context.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 716   +1,278
You are talking about 1 album vs 1 movie. Care to tell me how many albums there are in total? There are over 60 million songs on Amazon Music. Your argument is just weird dude, it makes zero sense in this context.

You should count TV as well if that is the case. It's probably still not as wide a library in fairness to your point, but on the other hand I also know that the barrier of entry is inherently lower and that's why we *should* expect a disproportionately larger library: it's just not as expensive to produce 100 models of shoes vs 100 different models of cars: it's even why you pay *more* for inherently more complex products as it's supposed to offset the bigger R&D and manufacturing costs for super complex items.

Yet still, movies work in reverse. It's good that Amazon Music can include every kid with a laptop and a few samples as a distinct artist but I'm still not convinced that because of it a music service should cost MORE than a movie & TV service. Equal maybe, probably less, but more money for a wide variety of throw-away content?

Let's be honest here: it's not the library it's far simpler: it's just the RIAA demanding a far larger, disproportionately higher price tag.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,684   +3,549
TechSpot Elite
You should count TV as well if that is the case. It's probably still not as wide a library in fairness to your point, but on the other hand I also know that the barrier of entry is inherently lower and that's why we *should* expect a disproportionately larger library: it's just not as expensive to produce 100 models of shoes vs 100 different models of cars: it's even why you pay *more* for inherently more complex products as it's supposed to offset the bigger R&D and manufacturing costs for super complex items.

Yet still, movies work in reverse. It's good that Amazon Music can include every kid with a laptop and a few samples as a distinct artist but I'm still not convinced that because of it a music service should cost MORE than a movie & TV service. Equal maybe, probably less, but more money for a wide variety of throw-away content?

Let's be honest here: it's not the library it's far simpler: it's just the RIAA demanding a far larger, disproportionately higher price tag.
Yes dude, selection does matter. You are just not happy as to where the money goes, that's something entirely different. FYI Big music studios charge about $10-20k per track.

TL;DR: your beef is not with the price but with the music industry itself. this is why your argument makes no sense in this context.

Go back to piracy if you think it's not worth paying the RIAA and Amazon. You have other music streaming services to chose from too, but I doubt you have a different opinion on them.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 716   +1,278
TL;DR: your beef is not with the price but with the music industry itself. this is why your argument makes no sense in this context.

Go back to piracy if you think it's not worth paying the RIAA and Amazon. You have other music streaming services to chose from too, but I doubt you have a different opinion on them.

1) Yes my beef is with the RIAA I never said it wasn't I even explicitly called them out, what of it?

2) Now you're just using "You pirate!" as pointless ad-hominem: most people who love music support artists more directly through merchandise and live shows and not record sales, this is because less than 1% of record sales and streaming profits actually go to the artist. But you would rather ignore that fact and pretend a rotten industry like the RIAA is deeply affected by piracy as if I was "stealing" from artists by suggesting Amazon Music is a terrible deals when 99 out of 100 artists would actually side with me on this argument and state that it is terrible that they have to work in such a careless industry and have to support themselves with everything surrounding their craft other than selling their music.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,684   +3,549
TechSpot Elite
1) Yes my beef is with the RIAA I never said it wasn't I even explicitly called them out, what of it?

2) Now you're just using "You pirate!" as pointless ad-hominem: most people who love music support artists more directly through merchandise and live shows and not record sales, this is because less than 1% of record sales and streaming profits actually go to the artist. But you would rather ignore that fact and pretend a rotten industry like the RIAA is deeply affected by piracy as if I was "stealing" from artists by suggesting Amazon Music is a terrible deals when 99 out of 100 artists would actually side with me on this argument and state that it is terrible that they have to work in such a careless industry and have to support themselves with everything surrounding their craft other than selling their music.
And yet, you think 10$ is too much for 60 mil songs.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,684   +3,549
TechSpot Elite
Compared to about $10 for 15,000 movies and TV shows yes I do: we all remember the main topic so selectively trying to remove the context won't work.
You are the one switching things around and adding useless fluff at something that is really simple. People are not stupid and they perfectly understand what you are writing.

In the end you are just not happy with the industry and you don't actually care about the price, it could have been 1$ and it would still be too much for you. Comparing it with movies is just childish since you don't think even 10-20.000 songs are worth as much as 1 movie. You have a really biased view as to how much a song is worth.

Don't buy the subscription if it is too much for you. You don't need millions of songs? Go pay 10$ to 70$ for audio CD albums that you'll own and listen for a few years.

In the end you couldn't come up with even 1 legit argument as to why 10$ is too much beyond "I hate RIAA".