TuneCore Embraces Hi-Res Lossless Streaming by Adding Qobuz

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Believe’s TuneCore has officially embraced hi-res lossless streaming by partnering with HD-audio platform Qobuz.

TuneCore, which distributes music to over 150 stores worldwide, announced the hi-res lossless streaming move today, via a formal release that was emailed to Digital Music News. As part of the deal with Qobuz – which raised about $12.21 million in a September of 2020 funding round – New York City-headquartered TuneCore is set to make music from its “vast roster of artists” available on the service.

Qobuz already boasts a library of more than 70 million lossless tracks, according to the announcement message, and users can both stream and download these songs. Moreover, “Studio Premier” Qobuz subscriptions deliver audio quality of “FLAC 24-Bit up to 192 kHz” and cost $14.99 per month – or $12.49 per month when one pays for a year upfront.

The “Studio Sublime” tier, for its part, offers the same streaming quality (as well as an “exclusive discount” on hi-res song purchases) for a $249.99 annual charge. Plus, the release acknowledges that Qobuz – which, like TuneCore’s stock market-bound parent company Believe, is headquartered in Paris – “is also known for its best-in-class editorial content and exclusives.”

Addressing the agreement in a statement, Andreea Gleeson, TuneCore’s co-head and chief revenue officer, stated: “The partnership with Qobuz enables us to satisfy the growing appetite for lossless audioacross all genres, while also unlocking a global audience of Hi-Res audio fans for our artists. Audiophiles who appreciate Hi-Res sound will love Qobuz and its commitment to a high-quality music experience.”

Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see whether hi-fidelity streaming can make a largescale commercial splash. On this front, it bears reiterating that Jay-Z sold his Tidal streaming platform to Jack Dorsey’s Square for $297 million in early March. Expanding upon the point, Tidal lost over $50 million in 2019, and the major labels have long criticized Dorsey’s Twitter for allegedly committing “piracy at an industrial, massive scale.”

More recently, both Amazon Music and Apple Music announced last month that they will provide hi-fidelity streaming to subscribers at no added cost. Amazon Music simply enabled Unlimited users to upgrade to Amazon Music HD (which previously cost another $5 per month) for free, and Apple Music – which said earlier in 2021 that it has some 660 million subscribers across all services – will begin supporting lossless this month.

Back in August of 2020, New York City-based music publisher Round Hill Music named Believe and TuneCore in a massive copyright infringement complaint, and TuneCore in May of this year brought on former Conde Nast exec Becky Sebber as CFO.

Lastly, evidence suggests that Spotify will enter the HD-audio space sooner rather than later, as eagle-eyed users spotted a hi-fi button on the Stockholm-based company’s iOS app about two weeks ago.