Amazon bets users will pay up for high-definition music streaming

Amazon just unveiled its latest attempt to attract customers in the crowded music streaming market: high-quality audio.

On Tuesday, Amazon announced it will offer more than 50 million songs at CD quality and millions more tracks at even better than CD quality as part of a new tier to its streaming music service.

The new offering, called Amazon Music HD, will cost $14.99 per month, or $12.99 per month for members of Amazon Prime, the company’s all-purpose membership service. That’s pricier than standard subscriptions to rivals such as Spotify and Apple Music, both of which cost $9.99 per month, but less than the $19.99 monthly rate Tidal charges for high-fidelity streaming.

Amazon Music HD has already attracted praise from musicians including Neil Young, who said in a statement that “Earth will be changed forever” by this service. But it remains to be seen how many consumers will pay up for this type of product. Young’s own attempt to sell users on high-quality digital music ultimately failed.

Amazon launched its on-demand music service in 2016 as part of its broader effort to offer a wide range of entertainment services and entice more people to sign up for Prime subscriptions.

Apart from Amazon, tech companies are investing in a range of ways to stand out in the music streaming market, including betting on exclusive content, curated playlists and podcasts.