Qobuz feeling the [Amazon HD] heat?

I just got an email from Qobuz that my Studio Premier subscription will drop in price with the next monthly renewal from $24.99 down to $14.99.

Good call, considering the close competition coming with Amazon HD.

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Wow!

How long had you been subscribing/trialling it?

Perhaps US subscriptions are drying up, perhaps not. It may be the syudios are offering better terms all round with the release of amazon HD as it would not be in their interests to ultimately have a provider with a monopoly through cheaper subscriptions.

I have had Qobuz since mid March '19 when it became available in the U.S.

I’ve been pleased with it, and use Roon so I like the integration. In fact, when Naim adds Qobuz support to the NDX2 I will likely not use it, in favor of Roon/Qobux integration.

What happens when Roon integrates Amazon HD. We will see.

I just got that too, only been on US Qobuz for 2 weeks after cancelling my European subscription and moving it across the Pond… I love they said, basically - nothing to do, we are just going to charge you less.

Qobuz says “No” to MP3 in Move to All Music, One Price Plan, Studio Premier… Qobuz, the Hi-Res music service that launched in the US this February, is completely eliminating its MP3 (lossy) streaming tier. Beginning today, Qobuz streamlines its monthly offering to one $14.99 plan that includes unlimited access to its entire Hi-Res and CD lossless catalogue (as low as $12.50 per month with a yearly plan). With their maximum quality plan now available for one accessible price, Qobuz is the first streaming service to say goodbye to the increasingly archaic MP3 and is making Hi-Res and lossless the new standard in the belief that everyone deserves the best quality sound.

Neil Young, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member artist whose early support and ongoing enthusiasm for Hi-Res are well-documented, says: “Qobuz sounds great! Qobuz was one of the earliest Hi-Res streamers. Their new offer is another big step towards making Hi-Res streaming available at the same cost as MP3 streaming today.”

The new Studio Premier plan is a limited time promotion available to the first 100,000 new Qobuz subscribers (plus existing users), who will receive unlimited access to over 50 million tracks in certified Hi-Res or CD lossless quality, along with Qobuz’s exclusive, in-depth editorial and metadata content, for $14.99/month, or $149.99/year). Qobuz will still offer its unique Sublime+ plan, now priced at $249.99/year, which includes all the streaming offerings, plus a substantial discount on Hi-Res download purchases from the Qobuz store ( www.qobuz.com )

Dan Mackta, Managing Director of Qobuz USA, says: “MP3 is really bad for music, artists, and listeners - so Qobuz is saying ‘no’ to MP3 and now offers only real studio quality in one accessible plan. Studio Premier is a special offer we’ve been dying to make. With the new plan, we will be pouring gasoline on the growth that has been kindled by our unique relationships in the premium audio hardware and retail industries. Our unequalled editorial and curation in specialist genres, and our focus on the culture around music and audio will continue to create value for listeners. Qobuz does all this because our users’ passion for music is worth it!”

Love it. Just signed up for another year, so I’m good now to November 2020 and charged only $56 doing it after prorate from my current sub. Let the music flow!

Am I reading this correctly that Qobuz are offering their sublime+ service in USA for annual fee of $249.99 compared with UK offering of £299.99???

Sincerely hope that is not the case if they aspire to any further UK customers or continued subscriptions.

Peter

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I am trialling Amazons HD but would definitely consider Qobuz if it was a similar price. They don’t seem to be interested in the UK for some reason and there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to contact them which strikes me as ominous.

Yes, that’s right, it’s equivalent to £195, whereas we must pay £299. I used to have sublime, which made economic sense for the savings on downloads even though I didn’t stream. Now I simply buy fewer downloads and pay full price. Recently I’ve been buying ECMs from high res audio in Germany at a much better price than Qobuz, so overall they are getting a lot less money from me.

This is a limited USA only offer, sure it is UNTIL Jan 2020 or the first 100 subscribers, sorry skim read it.

Once again us UK mugs getting taken for a ride.

First 100,000 subscribers… I don’t see why they would raise back prices after January 2020.

Thanks for the correction, but after that 100,000 the rest get it for £25.

Sadly I’d say they will go bust, or maybe not making the headway they wish for in the US of A.

I think the Tidal is all rap focused (I agree and dislike it to some extent), but doh rap and USA are like peas in a pod, trying to shove classical or Euro Jazz to that market won’t work.

Nigel

I’m looking for logic where it simply does not exist. Feels remarkably short sighted of the French marketing people who seem unable to grasp how small the interweb/world is these days and the visibility we all have. With Amazon’s shadow growing ever larger it stings to see any company offering a £1:$1 product pricing (but we’ve got used to it) however, when you see Qobuz going even further in the wrong direction I’m amazed they are unable to see the inevitable consequences of this insulting strategy. Hey Ho!

Peter

Are you really saying that there is no market for classical or jazz in the US, and that people like only ©rap? You’d better tell the people who run the Village Vanguard that they have got it wrong all those years.

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I still have the original Sublime, and think I pay around £159 per annum - I do enjoy the discounts on downloads which can be significant, but prices seem to have risen generally in recent months, and I’m still baffled why they don’t offer Sublime discounts on CD quality when many albums are not available in hi-res - it is invariably cheaper to get the CD online and rip.

Original Sublime is no longer offered - had they incentivised me to go for Sublime+ I might have, but £300/annum when I mostly stream CD quality would be pushing it, unless I could easily trial for non-purchased hi-res titles to see how well it worked.

I know, it’s potty. Still, it saves me money by buying less music.

It know it seems unfair, but it’s hard to know given the crazy regional marketing/release/pricing strategies of major music and movie companies.

I suspect there has not been much traction in the US and a competitive deal is the way to get and keep new revenue streams, especially given the Amazon offering though personally I won’t be continuing after the trial.

Perhaps they’ve analysed customer retention outside the US and if UK customers remain as annual/monthly customers for longe periods with little churn, as they value the service, seems likely they’d retain the higher pricing in the UK to bolster global revenue.

Perhaps they’ve got a better deal for US distribution as a larger market, though if the UK is subject to an EU distribution pricing we may be being fleeced!

Maybe it’s just another Macron Brexit slap for us!

Peter

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I’m on Studio free till the end of the month. Think I will cancel. I just wanted to see whether hires sounds better. Not immediately obvious as CD is exceptionally good. I briefly tried streaming off my phone/iPad into nDAC with the requisite cable and USB hub with charging capability and it sounded good. It’s a hassle as my Innuos Zenith has to be disconnected. Just need something that allows me to select the source and feed USB to my converter. The Zenith is good but obviously they have yo integrate and Amazon would have to make a programmable interface available!

Maybe I just cough up for Qobuz!

Phil

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Funnily enough I nearly made a very similar comment :smiling_imp:

Perhaps FR will have some insight!