Streaming Services

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 05, 2017
STUTTGART, Germany, Sept. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz and global music and entertainment platform, TIDAL, have announced a long-term partnership – in the next few months, Mercedes-Benz customers that have connected their car to the Mercedes me Portal will be able to access a complimentary TIDAL HiFi membership.
...
Starting from 2018 all Mercedes me customers are provided with a free 12-month subscription in hi-fi streaming quality. After that complimentary trial, customers can continue to use the TIDAL subscription to access albums, live streams, and Tidal X concerts for €9.99 (premium quality) or €19.99 (hi-fi quality).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 05, 2017
Yes, you read that right. HDtracks, the grandfather of hi-res download sites, will be launching their own streaming service, HDmusicStream, which will feature all MQA-encoded music all the time, later this year.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 30, 2017
"To lose one CEO may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness." (But to lose three?) Oscar Wilde
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 26, 2017
"I'm going to make this disappear."

Neil Young is back!, touting high-res again, but this time things are going to be different. Better...

As you might imagine, I found it difficult to raise more money for this model: delivering quality music at a premium price to a limited audience that felt they were being taken advantage of with the high costs.

So now, sadly with Pono gone, for more than eight months I’ve been working with our small team to look for alternatives. Finding a way to deliver the quality music without the expense and to bring it to a larger audience has been our goal.

The alternative? High-res streaming!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 12, 2017
image credit: OraStream

From the press release:

Singapore (Newswire) April 12th, 2017 – OraStream Private Limited launches BRIO by OraStream ("BRIO"), a next-generation consumer music streaming server.

BRIO is a novel personal music server for consumers to stream music at native resolution. It lets users stream 16 bit/44kHz up to 24 bit/192kHz resolution audio, which delivers all the digital information to bring true musical reproduction.

Did I hear someone ask for hi-res streaming without the "special sauce" (see: Neil Young back in his Pono days)?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 07, 2017
Word. The The Verge reports that Spotify subscribers are receiving teaser offers for Spotify's not-yet-available lossless streaming tier ranging in price from $5 to $10 on top of the $10/month Premium Service fee. This puts Spotify's lossless service within or on the same plane as Tidal HiFi's $19.99/mo.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 16, 2017
From the press release:
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.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 23, 2017
I bet you didn't see that coming, or maybe you did. Certainly the swell of Tidal doubters and their death knells were, shall we say, premature.
NEW YORK and OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Jan. 23, 2017 – Global music and entertainment platform TIDAL and Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today an unprecedented partnership that will soon give Sprint’s 45 million retail customers unlimited access to exclusive artist content not available anywhere else.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 13, 2016
Neil Young and Pono are back in the news after a long hiatus of newsworthiness. Rolling Stone reports, "He's [Young] working with a Singaporean company on a method to 'maintain our quality level when we go to streaming.'" My best guess is that Singaporean company is none other than OraStream (who else would it be?), the company behind the Naxos high-res classical service.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 19, 2016
But if you want their CD-quality streaming service, Deezer Elite, you can only get it through Sonos (sigh). So what are we getting from Deezer? Another $9.99/mo. 320kbps lossy streaming service (there's no free tier for US customers).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 03, 2016
According to Ben Sisario of The New York Times, Apple is not buying Tidal. Seeing as Sisario covers streaming, and more, for the Times, I'd imagine his highly-placed sources are, well, highly placed. Time will tell.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 30, 2016
What's more, and most interesting (and I have to admit a little unexpected), is there are 1.35 million Tidal HiFi subscribers (that's the $19.99/mo CD quality service)! That's a lot of people caring about quality and that's great news. For a change.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 10, 2015
International Business Times reports Tidal HiFi, the company's CD-quality streaming service, is a hit. Nearly half of Tidal's new subscribers since their much maligned press event in March have opted for Tidal HiFi instead of the lower quality Premium 320kbps service. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!!
“It seems like sound is back on the map,” said Pål Bråtelund, a strategic partnerships manager at Tidal. “It doesn't make sense to live forever with sound quality that was created for a dial-up modem.”
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 22, 2015
I was holding up on talking about this story until it seemed like a real story. Well it does. Here's the crux of it; Apple charges a 30% fee to streaming services for every iOS customer that signs up for their service through the Apple App Store. So services like Spotify, Tidal, and Rdio bump up their regular $9.99/mo pricing to $12.99/mo in the App Store so they don't take the 30% Apple hit. Which makes Apple Music's $9.99/mo competitive streaming service a comparative deal. To add insult to injury these same streaming services cannot point out on the Apple App Store that you can get their service for $9.99/mo if you just buy direct. Nor can they include a link to their respective websites, offer a free promo (Apple Music does), or a family plan (Apple Music does) according to Apple's App Store guidelines. Is this fair?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 16, 2015
As music consumers move from ownership to access on a global scale, the music industry and its technology partners the streaming services haven't figured out how to run the business they're running. Who pays the price for their incompetence? The people without whom this business would not exist—musicians and songwriters. Thankfully Rethink Music has taken on the task of unraveling this unholy mess.

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