Pink Floyd Albums Receive 24-Bit Hi-Res Upgrade Amid Continued Commercial Success for Catalog Releases

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Pink Floyd performing live in 1973. Photo Credit: Erik Calonius

High-resolution streaming service Qobuz has quietly upgraded Pink Floyd’s albums – including The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and The Wall (1979) – to 24-bit audio amid continued commercial success for catalog releases.

Paris-based Qobuz, which raised $11.7 million in September of 2020, recently rolled out 24-bit (and 96.0 kHz) editions of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted group’s music, including high-res options for Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), and the live album Live at Knebworth 1999, to name some.

The high-definition update likewise impacted multiple solo albums from Pink Floyd vocalist and guitarist David Gilmour, About Face (1984), On An Island (2006), Rattle That Lock (2015), and live recordings among them. While Qobuz hasn’t formally acknowledged the development in a release – neither has Sony Music (SME) or Pink Floyd, for that matter – a banner atop the albums’ landing page on the service emphasizes that the works are “available in hi-res for the first time.”

Additionally, Qobuz USA managing director Dan Mackta confirmed to DMN that SME had just forwarded the corresponding update, complete with new cover images, related assets, and, of course, the files themselves. Building upon the point, Pink Floyd albums are currently tagged with the “master” label on Tidal, whereas the mobile app of Amazon Music (which, along with Apple Music, began offering subscribers hi-fi streaming at no added cost over the summer) shows that the same releases are available to stream in Ultra HD.

As initially mentioned, this embrace of high-definition audio for decades-old albums arrives as catalog releases – projects that became available to fans more than 18 months ago – account for two-thirds of all music consumption in the United States, according to MRC Data.

Notwithstanding some previous disavowals of hi-fidelity audio – and lingering questions about the financial viability of platforms that are geared towards audiophiles – the upgraded Pink Floyd albums (and a number of other releases yet) appear to reflect the major labels’ continued confidence in the earning potential of classics. Higher-ups and the many companies that are pouring millions into music IP also seem optimistic that certain long-famous releases will reach new audiences moving forward.

On this front, Fleetwood Mac (whose albums are available in hi-fi on Qobuz) became decidedly popular among Gen Z listeners last year, following a viral TikTok trend involving “Dreams.” In the subsequent 12 months, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks alike cashed in on their catalogs.

More recently, Led Zeppelin arrived on TikTok, while David Bowie’s estate is reportedly negotiating a $200 million sale of the London-born creator’s songwriting catalog.