In the face of new competition from Apple, Amazon announced that it will not charge additional HD-level fees from Amazon Music that allow customers to stream audio in CD quality and above. Moving forward, lossless audio is available to all Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers at no additional charge.
By taking this step, Amazon aims to retain subscribers to its music streaming service, and Amazon first announced Amazon Music HD in the fall of 2019 with access to more than 50 million songs that can be streamed at 16-bit / 44.1 kHz. It also promised millions of additional songs streamed in Ultra HD or 24-bit / 192kHz.
The Amazon Music HD list has grown to over 70 million songs, and there are over 7 million Ultra HD tracks available. Amazon Music HD customers can also access a growing list of remixed songs in 3D audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360RA, that can be played via Echo Studio. 360RA music can also be streamed via Amazon Music HD through Sony's RA5000 and RA3000 speakers using Alexa Cast.
The launch of HD broadcasts was seen as a way to counter the threat from Tidal, which was catering to audiophiles with high-definition broadcasts, as well as a way to differentiate its service from its major competitors, such as Apple and Spotify.
Amazon Music HD was priced at $ 12.99 a month for Amazon Prime subscribers and $ 14.99 a month for everyone else. Now, Amazon says: New and existing subscribers of the Amazon Music Unlimited Single Plan ($ 7.99 per month for Prime members, $ 9.99 per month otherwise) or the Family Plan ($ 14.99 per month) can upgrade to Amazon Music HD at no additional cost.
Amazon said, our goal when we first launched Amazon Music HD was to lead the industry by enabling music fans around the world to broadcast the best quality recordings in the way artists wanted to hear their music.
We are now excited to make Amazon Music HD available to everyone at no additional cost, and all audiophiles should be able to access this quality of music.