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Qobuz drops MP3s and introduces Studio Premier Plan

Qobuz says ‘No to MP3’

by Andy Bassett

Qobuz will finally drop MP3 support and introduce Studio Premier Plan - a single monthly Hi-Res streaming subscription plan.

Studio Premier has been announced as an affordable, single delivery option for Qobuz’s catalogue of Hi-Res albums and songs, which the French music streaming service says is the most comprehensive of any music streaming service.

From today, the entire Qobuz library will be streamed in the UK at CD-quality (lossless) or Hi-Res (from 24-bit/44.1 kHz up to 192 kHz studio quality).

What’s more, the introductory offer that’s available will grant the first 100,000 Studio Premier subscribers access for £14.99 per month or alternatively £149.99 for a yearly commitment.  This runs until May 31st 2020 and is eligible to both new subscribers and existing customers who switch.

Launched in the UK in 2013, Qobuz was the first streaming service to offer Hi-Res streaming in studio quality, native 24-bit FLAC format and it has pursued a superior streaming policy ever since to give the best audio experience possible to the audiophile community.

Back in November 2019, Qobuz said that it would abandon the lossy MP3 format in favour of a CD and Hi-Res quality only streaming plan, bolstered by its developing partnerships with premium  audio hardware and retail industries. 

Dan Mackta, General Manager of Qobuz USA, siad at the time, “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!” He added,” 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.”

Now, just a few months later, the Studio Premier plan is available and MP3s have been banished from the Qobuz service. 

David Solomon, 'Chief Hi-Res music evangelist' at Qobuz USA commented,” I get to play Qobuz for hundreds of people every year and see the positive reactions first hand. Everyone can hear the improvement over-compressed music, but not everyone was willing to pay double for this experience. This has now changed.”

No details were available regarding the monthly subscription cost for Studio Premier after the introductory offer has expired but Qobuz’s Sublime+ plan, which includes all the streaming offerings, plus a substantial discount on Hi-Res download purchases from the Qobuz store, is still be available, now priced at £249.99 per year. 

A whole host of Hi-Fi companies, including Naim Audio, Linn, Arcam, Cyrus, Chord Electronics, AudioQuest, Ayre Acoustics, Dali, Dynaudio, Focal, Innuos, Melco, Roon and T+A,  will be demoing Qobuz at The Bristol Hi-Fi Show from 21st-23rd February.

If you are a Qobuz subscriber, please let us know what you think about this news in the discussion thread. 

Source: Press release
Image Source: Qobuz

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