Streaming Music Pricing, Competition: Where is it going?

Current facts:

  • Apple offers lossless/hi-rez/spatial service at $10/month.

  • Amazon modified pricing putting their lossless/hi-rez service at $10/month or less for Prime subscribers.

With these two developments, questions arise:

  • Will Spotify charge more for their lossless service or, to keep subscribers, charge $10/month for the new lossless service?

  • Will Apple and Amazon’s pricing change Qobuz and TIDAL’s pricing or will they be able to convince customers to pay more for the integrations audiophiles love (Audirvana, Roon, numerous hardware providers, etc)?

Does Roon only index TIDAL and Qobuz (plus whatever is stored locally)? Will they pick up Amazon and Apple now that they are lossless?

Until Lightning DS supports either of the new lossless providers, I will be sticking to Qobuz.

Yes, only Qobuz and Tidal. It’s unlikely Amazon or Apple (or anyone else) will ever even be interested in integrating with Roon. They want all the user/use metrics for themselves and Roon is simply microscopic compared to their respective scale(s).

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I think a Roon exec mentioned they had been talking with Spotify but Spotify pulled out.

I agree completely that neither Amazon nor Apple will be open to Roon.

Apple, with the exception of a few pro software items, is no longer interested in anything niche plus they want to control the experience completely.

I don’t have a link to the quote but I’ve heard Qobuz has publicly stated that their pricing is as low as it can go for them to maintain the business. Their pricing model is augmented by their download store and their deep purchase discounts for Studio Sublime members.

At this point I don’t see how Spotify could charge for “lossless”. That would put them too close to Tidal / Qobuz with no announcement about hi-resolution.

Yes, Roon needs to ingest the entire catalog from a service provider for their system to work. Coming to commercial terms for such access isn’t expected to happen with Spotify, Apple, or Amazon but stranger things have happened.

@ipeverywhere that sounds completely believable about Qobuz.

Amazon and Apple can both operate streaming as a loss leader. It’s not their core business so they can use streaming as a method to sell hardware, a lifestyle, extend brand, utilize data.

For Qobuz, Spotify, and TIDAL, streaming is the core business which could make them vulnerable but hopefully not.

(Spotify likely has a huge data arm and won’t surprise anyone if they launch other products such as video)