Home Music Apple Music will add free high-fidelity streaming (and, oh, Amazon already did)

Apple Music will add free high-fidelity streaming (and, oh, Amazon already did)

Apple Music subscribers will find that a big chunk of the catalog sounds better next month. The service is adding support for high-quality, lossless and spatial audio through dolby atoms  at no additional cost to its normal subscriptions, Apple said Monday. It will offer 20 million lossless audio songs to start, with 75 million available by the end of 2021.Not to be outdone, Amazon also revealed Monday that it will make its high-quality streaming tier, known as Amazon Music HD, part of a standard Amazon Music Unlimited subscription at no extra cost, starting now. That includes 70 million lossless songs, along with a growing selection of tracks that support Dolby Atmos.Apple defines songs in lossless audio as sounding the “way the artists created them in the studio.” Apple describes spatial audio as giving “artists the opportunity to create immersive audio experiences with true multidimensional sound and clarity.”

The dual announcements essentially mean Amazon is the first company to offer a $10-a-month high-fidelity streaming music service, with Apple Music rounding the bend next month. Spotify, the world’s biggest streaming service by both listeners and subscribers, is planning to launch its own HiFi service sometime this year but hasn’t specified the timing or the price.

Spotify’s HiFi was expected to be competitively priced at $20 a month when the company announced its plans earlier this year.  But Apple’s and Amazon’s decisions to make lossless quality a standard part of their $10-a-month subscriptions will put immense pressure on Spotify to follow suit if it hopes to stay competitive.