Thursday, 15 April 2021 06:03

Qobuz LAUNCH VIDEO: The high-res music streaming and download platform has arrived in Australia Featured

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Qobuz is the world’s first music platform to offer hi-res streaming and downloading, and it has arrived in Australia, making its growing catalogue available to Aussie music lovers and audiophiles for true aural pleasure.

Qobuz started in France back in 2007, and is now in 18 countries around the world, and blends the richest choice of high resolution (hi-res) music on the market, but also offers what it says is "an exceptional range of exclusive editorial content written by a team of experts."

It is also "the only multi genre platform to achieve Hi-Res certification - a label awarded by the Japan Audio Society (JAS)."

We're told Qobuz's mission "is to provide all music lovers and audiophiles with an unparalleled listening experience that respects all music as the artist intended.

"Committed to offering the purest sound quality, Qobuz offers a catalogue of millions of tracks in every genre, from both major and independent labels, available to stream and download in either CD quality (often referred to as HiFi or HD) or Hi-Res “studio quality” audio (24-Bit up to 192 kHz)."

What about the promised "rich source of of editorial content"?

First, here is the full launch video, after which the article continues, ending with a "fast facts" sheet, so please read on!

Here, Qobuz tells us that it "makes it easy to (re)discover iconic artists and emerging local and international talent.

"With more than half a million of album reviews, artist biographies, musical booklets, interviews and music news," Qobuz says it "provides context to the music of yesterday, today and tomorrow, while highlighting the artists to follow and albums - new and iconic - that are worth listening to."

As a part of Qobuz’s expansion announced today, the company says its editorial team "has introduced a full range of playlists featuring local artists that are available to subscribers around the world", appointing a writer for Australia with more to come.

Although Qobuz started in France, the company says the service is now in 18 countries, which include the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, in the United States since 2019, and now, Northern Europe (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland), and as of April 14, 2021, Qobuz is be available in Australia and New Zealand, with the international expansion to continue.

Deputy CEO of Qobuz, George Fornay, said: “Since 2007, Qobuz has set a global benchmark for high-end music streaming and downloading, offering the highest quality music listening experience in the market.

'Far from just a simple streaming service, Qobuz aims to bring music back to its true value by offering our subscribers a complete experience that respects the way the artist intends for their music to be enjoyed.

"We are absolutely thrilled to finally bring Qobuz to Australia, where the expectation for a high quality listening offering such as ours exists - not just amongst consumers, but within the vibrant, diverse and incredibly talented Aussie music industry," Fornay concluded.

So, what is the local pricing?

Qobuz tells us that it offers "different subscriptions, allowing local users to stream unlimited music in Hi-Res (often referred to as UltraHD) and CD (often referred to as HiFi or HD) quality."

Here are the tiers:

Studio Premier / Studio Premier Family

Studio Premier gives users access to the entire Qobuz catalogue of Hi-Res and CD quality albums, all available for streaming. On the Studio Premier Family subscription, family members in the same home can share up to six accounts under one subscription.

● Studio Premier - AU$19.16 per month (total of $229.99 billed annually)

● Studio Premier - AU$24.99 per month (monthly subscriptions, no strings attached)

● Studio Premier Family - AU$44.99 per month (monthly subscriptions)

● Studio Premier Family - AU$429.99 (annual subscription)

● Studio Sublime - AU$299.99 (annual subscription)

● Studio Sublime Family - AU$599.99 (annual subscription)

Studio Sublime / Studio Sublime Family

Studio Sublime gives users access to the entire Qobuz catalogue of Hi-Res and CD quality albums, all available for streaming and download purchase with exclusive Studio Sublime discounts on Hi-Res purchases of up to 60%. On the Studio Sublime Family subscription, family members in the same home can share up to six Qobuz accounts under one subscription.

The Qobuz app is available to download for free. To enjoy music as the artist intended, download the Qobuz app today via the Android or iOS app store or by heading to qobuz.com

Here are more fast facts from Qobuz:

● Qobuz {pronounced koh-buzz} is a high quality music streaming and downloading platform addressing the needs of curious and discerning music lovers across the globe

● Baseline: High-Resolution Streaming & Download Platform

● Qobuz has been a pioneer of high quality sound since its launch in 2007

● Qobuz is currently available in 18 countries worldwide as of 2021:
○ In Europe: France, UK, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands
○ In the US, Australia and New Zealand

● Chairman and Chief Executive Officer: Denis Thébaud
● Deputy Chief Operating Officer: Georges Fornay
● Number of employees in France and worldwide: +100 (staff doubled)
● Qobuz is available on PC, Mac, web reader and iOS and Android apps

About The Qobuz Experience

When Qobuz was formed in 2007, its goal was to offer the digital world the aspects of music fandom that audiophiles, those who love music best, have always cherished. For Qobuz, this meant quality sound, quality editorial, and a human approach to music curation.

Sound quality: Qobuz, Artist Approved Sound

Qobuz offers a global catalogue of more than 70 million1 tracks in every genre, from both major and independent labels, and the richest choice of catalogue in Hi-Res quality. In an effort to offer the best quality experience, all tracks are available to stream in these qualities:

● CD quality: Often referred to as HiFi or HD, delivers sound in a quality identical to that of a CD. Sound encoded in 16-Bit/44.1 kHz.

● High-resolution quality (Hi-Res): Often referred to as studio quality, it is the sound as it was created and recorded in the studio by the artists. Hi-Res offers an unparalleled listening quality. Audio FLAC 24-Bit / up to 192 kHz. Qobuz is the only music platform in the world to offer streaming and downloading in Hi-Res.

A pioneer of high quality sound since 2007, Qobuz is the only multi genre service to achieve Hi-Res certification - a label awarded by the Japan Audio Society, the only organisation to offer a definition of Hi-Res audio.

Committed to offering the highest quality sound experience, Qobuz does not offer MP3 quality subscriptions as MP3 compression (320 kbps) delivers an altered sound experience in which audio quality is sacrificed in favour of file size reduction.

However, if you are located in an area where the internet speed is insufficient to access the listening quality allowed by your subscription, Qobuz will give you access to MP3 quality by default so as not to deprive you of the service.

At launch, Qobuz will offer Australian / New Zealand users access to a significant catalogue of millions of titles across all genres, which will continue to expand in the coming weeks and months.

Quality editorial

● Qobuz offers rich editorial content with deep dives into genres, albums, discographies and artists. From classic rock, baroque, electro pop, to death metal, jazz or folk, Qobuz celebrates all styles of music from yesterday, today and tomorrow.

● The Qobuz music team brings rich, diverse and in-depth content on all music genres, through articles, columns and videos available via Qobuz apps and in the Qobuz magazine (NZ) / Qobuz magazine (AUS).

● Qobuz offers over half a million album reviews, biographies, articles on music news, test beds on new hi-fi equipment, interviews, files on the history of a group, a label or a musical movement - all written by a team of passionate experts.

● Qobuz Panoramas are designed to enrich users’ musical experience and knowledge of an artist, label, period, genre, album or entire discography.
Human curation

● Qobuz is all about human and expert recommendations. Every Friday, users can discover new releases and playlists selected by the Qobuz team, on Qobuz apps and on the Qobuz site.

● Users can also find music they love through the Qobuz column ‘The Taste of Qobuz’. Here, the team list their ‘Qobuzissime’ - their favourite, unmissable new releases, as well as ideal discography, listing some of the key works of history.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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