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Qobuz ditches MP3s completely, lowers hi-res streaming price

Qobuz says no to MP3
(Image credit: Qobuz)

Qobuz has shown MP3-quality music the hand, making it the first music streaming service to turn its back on lossy formats altogether.

Instead, the French company has launched a limited-edition subscription with unfettered access to its lossless archives called Studio Premier which sits alongside the top tier Sublime+ package. Every other plan will be phased out.

Studio Premier will only be offered to the first 100,000 customers who sign up before 31st January 2020. It brings access to Qobuz's library of over 40 million CD lossless tracks and more than 210,000 hi-res albums which it claims is the largest such collection in the world. It costs £14.99/$14.99 per month (or £149.99/$149.99 for a year) with the first month free.

"Studio Premier is a special offer we’ve been dying to make," said Qobuz managing director, USA, Dan Mackta. “MP3 is really bad for music, artists, and listeners - so Qobuz is saying ‘no’ to MP3 and now offers only real studio quality in one accessible plan."

The move cements Qobuz's position as a service for high-quality music lovers, competing with the likes of Tidal and Amazon Music HD.

Current Qobuz Hi-Fi and Studio Monthly customers will be automatically transferred to Studio Premier when their subscription is renewed, which means a £5/$5 saving. Premium Monthly users will need to make the switch manually before the January deadline when access will cease.

Those wishing to make the jump to Sublime+ instead (£249.99/$249.99 per year) will get a very similar service to Studio Premier but with the bonus of discounts on purchases from the Qobuz Store.

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  • davidf
    I can’t see it making much difference in the war against Amazon Music. It’ll be useful to audiophiles like us, but the average Prime member who relies on Amazon for virtually anything they buy online nowadays is just going to sign up and use Amazon. I think it’ll affect Spotify more than Qobuz or TIDAL.
    Reply
  • Minkey1
    Is it just me? On the UK site I can still see plans starting at MP3/320?
    Reply
  • Niallivm
    Minkey1 said:
    Is it just me? On the UK site I can still see plans starting at MP3/320?
    Not just you - looks like Qobuz Premier is US-only. A shame - I would be interested in signing up for the annual service.
    Reply
  • Niallivm
    admin said:
    Qobuz doubles down on hi-res offering with unlimited lossless access plan

    Qobuz ditches MP3s completely, lowers hi-res streaming price : Read more
    The Qobuz Premier link is US-only :mad:
    Reply
  • RobMcH
    Come on What Hi Fi.....it’s your article! You mentioned the price in British Pounds.....is there something else you’ve been told ie a date for us Brits to get this great deal?
    Reply
  • Niallivm
    Qobuz contacted me today and said they were working to launch Premier in Europe “soon”
    Reply
  • RobMcH
    Niallivm said:
    Qobuz contacted me today and said they were working to launch Premier in Europe “soon”
    Thanks for the info Niallivm. Let’s see what happens!
    Reply
  • Minkey1
    Seems so. Just got this from Qobuz CS:


    Dear Customer,

    As you may know, Qobuz has just introduced the Studio Premier subscription in the USA for $ 14.99.

    Unfortunately, this subscription is not yet available on the service in other countries. However, this is a temporary situation due to negotiations that are still progress with the rights holders in other countries.

    Qobuz is working tirelessly to synchronize our offers across the world. The Studio Premier plan will be available to our users in other countries soon.

    Thank you for your interest in Qobuz
    Reply