French music streamer Qobuz are bringing their high-resolution streamer to the U.S., but can they face up against Jay-Z’s Tidal.
Qobuz claim to be “the highest resolution music streaming service in the world” with a vast catalogue of over 40 million tracks. They’re trying their hand at taking on the big dogs in Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and others with their launch in the U.S. later this year.
Qobuz say that they are the only streaming service that offers over 1 million tracks in high-resolution that also works on all the top platforms – Mac, Windows, iOS, Android. They offer audio quality “that is superior to most other platforms, at the very least in FLAC Open-Source format in 16-Bit/44.1kHz quality, similar to CD quality, and far superior to your typical Lossy (such as MP3) streaming music service”.
Whilst they may have an advantage over Spotify and similar streaming services Qobuz faces it’s primary competition from Tidal. Tidal, the streaming service launched by rapper-cum-mogul Jay-Z, offers high quality music streaming and claims to pay the artists fairly compared to the average streaming rate. Although to make the most of either service you require a high-fidelity stereo system or headphones otherwise it’s 99.9% likely it won’t make a difference.
Last month Qobuz’s CEO, Denis Thébaud told French news publication: “We are present in nine European countries … Our other border is the United States, we will be in the spring”. (roughly translated with Google Translate) He continues that they have found “a fairly high demand on its target audience, music lovers” – who would have thought?
What Thébaud means is that Qobuz has built up it’s service with more of a niche audience than a direct, anyone who wants to listen to music, offering. They say they’re targeted at “art and culture enthusiasts” and have built a “solid reputation” with classical and jazz fans.
Qobuz haven’t revealed subscription prices for the U.S. yet however their European prices stand at £9.99 a month for their Premium service or £19.99 for Hi-Fi access.