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Qobuz joins the chorus of music streaming services in Australia
If you had asked me yesterday, I would have said there was no more room for new music streaming services in Australia. If you had asked me back in 2014 before Tidal launched I probably would have said the same thing. This is why I was surprised when I received a press release announcing just that, a brand new music streaming service in Australia, Qobuz.
Positioned as a high-fidelity competitor to Tidal, Qobuz promises an “unparalleled listening experience” and the ”purest sound quality,” available to stream and download in CD quality (or HiFi/HD) or high-resolution studio quality (24-bit, up to 192khz). Qobuz has actually been around since 2007 but has slowly expanded to a number of countries over the years, including the US in 2019, and now Australia and New Zealand in 2021.
Its high price tag is a clear indication that Qobuz is specifically targeting serious audiophiles with its service, rather than the general public that Spotify and Apple Music caters to. For comparison, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Tidal all charge $11.99 per month for their basic plans, while Tidal charges $23.99 per month for its HiFi plan.
Though, there’s a little more to the service than just high-fidelity music streaming. Qobuz also has an editorial aspect, with artist profiles, album reviews, news, interviews and more.
For example, to celebrate the Australian launch, there’s a feature on the history of Aussie Hip-Hop, profiling artists like Genesis Owusu, Hilltop Hoods, Seth Sentry and Unlimited Sound.
Qobuz plans and pricing in Australia
Qobuz is available at a few different price tiers. Firstly there’s Studio Premier and Studio Sublime. Studio Premier is the basic streaming plan for one device and no downloads at $24.99 per month or $229.99 per year (equivalent to $19.16 per month). The Studio Premier Family plan offers the same but allows you to stream on up to six devices at once for $44.99 per month or $429.99 per year (equivalent to $35.83 per month).
Then there’s the Studio Sublime plan, which allows you to download tracks and albums for offline listening, as well as offering discounts up to 60% off on Hi-Res album purchases. Studio Sublime costs $299.99 per year for a single user (equivalent to $24.99 per month) or $599.99 per year for six users (equivalent to $49.99 per year).
The Qobuz app is available on iOS and Android but it only allows you to stream 30-second track samples. Still, it’s a good way to suss out the high-fidelity audio quality of Qobuz if you’re still on the fence.
Does Qobuz have a free trial?
It does. As mentioned above, you download the app and have a poke around if you're interested, but there's also a one-month free trial of Qobuz if you want to give the paid version a good once-over before committing to paying the $24.99 per month.