Amazon has decided it’s not gonna charge people extra for lossless audio. Today, the company announced it was dropping its Music HD tier and will give access to its over 70 million CD-quality and 7 million hi-fi songs to standard subscribers for free.
From Amazon’s press release:
Amazon Music today announced that going forward, its high-quality streaming tier, Amazon Music HD, will be available to all eligible Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers at no extra cost, unlocking access to the highest-quality streaming audio for even more music fans. In 2019, Neil Young called the launch of HD audio for Amazon “the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio” and now, even more fans can stream music with all of the depth, vibrancy, and emotion from artists’ original recordings.
“When we first launched Amazon Music HD, our goal was to lead the industry by enabling music fans around the world to stream the best quality recording, the way artists intended their music to be heard,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music. “We’re thrilled now to make Amazon Music HD available to everyone at no extra cost. All music fans should have access to this quality of music, and now they do!”
Notably, Amazon has the same support for lossless audio as Apple who also gave its subscribers hi-fi streaming for free. CD quality on Amazon Music sits at 16-bit/44.1kHz, while Ultra HD (a.k.a. proper high fidelity) streams at up to 24-bit/192kHz. Subscribers will also gain access to a collection of 3D Audio songs that can be streamed on the Echo Studio and Sony’s RA5000 and RA3000 speakers.
If you’re a student who subscribes to Amazon Music, you’ll unfortunately not get access to these new features. However, everyone else (including those who pay $7.99/month for Music through Prime and those taking advantage of EBT and government assistance discounts) will get the quality settings.
The features are rolling out now in the US, UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain.