Universal Music Group + MQA = Hi-Res Streaming
LONDON AND SANTA MONICA, FEBRUARY 16, 2017 – Music technology company MQA and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world-leader in music-based entertainment, announced today that the companies have entered into a multi-year agreement that will encode UMG’s extensive catalogue of master recordings in MQA’s industry-leading technology, promising to make some of the world’s most celebrated recordings available for the first time in Hi-Res Audio streaming.While no specific numbers were given as to how many MQA titles will be released when, Michael Nash, executive vice president of digital strategy at UMG, told Music Ally, "We are focused of preparing tens of thousands – and ultimately hundreds of thousands – of tracks to have them available for [streaming] services."
The UMG deal added to the existing Warners deal gives MQA access to the catalogs of two out of three major labels, leaving Sony Music as the last major chip to fall...
I will editorialize by pointing out the focus of this press release: Hi-Res Streaming. The world is moving to streaming and away from downloads as is evidenced by...data. What does this mean? Today, it means that every Tidal HiFi subscriber can stream hi-res MQA content at no additional cost. If we hold this fact up against all of the doom and gloom MQA prognosticating, see Linn, you'll see that reality is rather opaque.
And then there's this, from Nash:
"We don’t want to step across announcements that other companies will make, but we think that we could safely guide you in the expectation that there will probably be half a dozen services in the marketplace by the end of the year delivering this format."