We’ve been expecting it for a while, but finally Warner Music Group confirms that it has signed a long-term licensing deal for MQA.

MQA (Master Quality Authenticated), developed by Meridian co-founder Bob Stuart, delivers ‘master quality audio’ in a file small enough to stream or download. The deal will allow for Warner’s diverse roster of artists and its back catalogue to be made available in studio master quality via a range of online services.

MQA music is currently available on Onkyo Music, e-Onkyo, 7digital, 2L, Technics Tracks and High Res Audio.

Warner Music represents artists including Prince, Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Linkin Park, The Rolling Stones and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

MORE: MQA hands-on review

Craig Kallman, chairman and CEO of Warner's Atlantic Records division, says: “MQA makes high-resolution music easy to stream or download to any device. Music fans will love it when they hear it, and WMG is thrilled to be partnering with MQA to take the next step in bringing hi-res music to consumers around the globe.”

Bob Stuart, MQA creator, adds: “This collaboration is a giant step forward for MQA and music fans everywhere.”

Hardware manufacturers such as Bluesound, Meridian, Onkyo (with its DP-X1 portable) and Pioneer (the XDP-100R portable player) have already confirmed they will produce MQA-compatible products. And HTC demonstrated a prototype of its MQA smartphone at CES 2016.

MORE: MQA Audio - what is it? And how can you get it?