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.