Qobuz, one of our favorite music streaming services, has just announced that it’s doing away with its cheapest MP3 streaming plan and consolidating its other CD-quality and hi-res music plans into a single $15-a-month offering, although that monthly price is (for now, anyway) only a limited-time deal.
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Qobuz’s new Studio Premier plan will offer more than 50 million tracks at either CD quality (16-bit/44.1kHz FLAC) or high-resolution quality (24-bit/192kHz), essentially combining its old Hi-Fi ($20 a month) and Studio ($25 a month) plans.
Qobuz says it’s offering the new Studio Premier plan at a “promotional” rate of $15 a month (or $150 a year, which comes out to $12.50 a month) for the first new 100,000 subscribers, while current MP3-only subscribers will have until January 31, 2020 to upgrade to the new plan. Existing Hi-Fi and Studio subscribers will automatically switch over to the Studio Premier plan.
Meanwhile, Qobuz says it’s ditching its $10/month Premier tier, which only offered MP3-quality streaming.
The move makes Qobuz far more competitive with Amazon, which shook up the high-resolution music streaming market in September when it launched Amazon Music HD, a $15-a-month streaming service that offers both CD-quality and hi-res tunes.
Before Amazon Music HD came around, you generally had to spend at least $20 a month to stream lossless FLAC music. Tidal, for example, charges $20 a month for a plan that offers both CD-quality and high-res streaming tunes. Deezer’s HiFi plan lets you stream CD-quality music for $15 a month, but it doesn’t include 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution music streaming.
Of course, Qobuz’s $15-a-month price is currently only a promotional offer. Qobuz is keeping mum on what will happen to the Studio Premier’s $15/month rate once the promotional period ends.
Besides its new Studio Premier plan, Qobuz says it will continue to offer Sublime+, a $250-a-year service that offers the same hi-res music streaming as Studio Premiere plus “substantial” discounts on purchases of lossless music downloads.