Amazon launches HD music streaming to compete with Spotify and Apple Music

Amazon launched a new layer of its music streaming service in a bid to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.

The company announced Amazon Music HD in a press release on Tuesday.

The service, which boasts millions of songs in “the highest quality streaming audio available,” will cost $12.99 per month for Amazon Prime members and $14.99 per month for Amazon customers.

For customers who are already Amazon Music subscribers, the HD songs will be available for $5 more per month, the release said.

A free 90-day trial is available to new and current Amazon Music subscribers.

The service, which reportedly has more than 50 million songs in high definition and millions more in ultra-high definition, is available in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Japan.

“We spoke with many artists while developing Amazon Music HD, who were excited about the potential for fans to be able to stream their favorite music, and hear it as it was originally recorded,” Steve Boom, Vice President of Amazon Music, said in a statement.

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AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 124.25 +1.48 +1.21%
SPOT SPOTIFY TECHNOLOGY SA 151.74 -2.18 -1.42%
AAPL APPLE INC. 180.95 +0.86 +0.48%

“From rock to hip-hop to classical and pop, we believe listening to music at this level of sound will make customers fall in love again with their favorite music and artists,” Boom continued.

He added: “As we usher in a new listening experience for our customers and the industry, we’re combining the convenience of streaming with all of the emotion, power, clarity and nuance of the original recordings.”

According to the release, the songs in ultra HD reveal “nuances that were once flattened in files compressed for digital streaming.”

The songs in HD, for example, will have “a bit of depth of 16 bits,” as well as a CD-quality sample rate of 44.1kHz.

Songs in ultra HD will be even better than CD quality, “with a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz,” the release said.


Aside from being available on Amazon devices such as Echo, Fire TV and Fire Tablets, Amazon Music HD can be used on desktops, iOS and Android mobile devices and other third-party devices.

Those include “most products from Denon and Marantz with HEOS Built-in, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Sonos, McIntosh, Sennheiser, and many more,” the release said.

Meanwhile, both Apple Music and Spotify Premium accounts cost about $9.99 per month.