In a statement released Friday, Qobuz says it will eliminate its MP3 format tier, making it the first streaming service to stop offering MP3-recorded music.
Qobuz will now offer just one $14.99 monthly (or $149.99 yearly) “Studio Premier” plan that includes unlimited access to its entire Hi-Res and CD “lossless” catalog and exclusive editorial and metadata content. The plan is a limited-time promotion available to the first 100,000 new Qobuz subscribers and existing users who sign up.
The service will continue to offer its Sublime+ plan at $249.99/year, which includes all streaming offerings along with discounts on hi-res download purchases from the Qobuz store.
“MP3 is really bad for music, artists, and listeners, so Qobuz is saying ‘no’ to MP3 and now offers only real studio quality in one accessible plan,” said managing director, Qobuz USA Dan Mackta.
“Studio Premier is a special offer we’ve been dying to make. With the new plan, we will be pouring gasoline on the growth that has been kindled by our unique relationships in the premium audio hardware and retail industries. 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!”
Headquartered in Paris, Qobuz launched in the U.S. in February.
No other streaming services have eliminated the MP3 format, a number of others do offer premium audio tiers. Amazon entered the hi-res gamein September with Amazon Music HD. Deezer and Tidal both offer lossless audio, while Spotify has tested the idea. While not technically lossless, in August Apple Music launched Apple Digital Masters, a new initiative combining all of its “Mastered for iTunes” tracks into one global catalog.