Apple Music Beats Spotify To Market With High-Fidelity Streaming Service

Apple Music dialed up the competition with rival Spotify on Monday by announcing a new high-fidelity streaming music offering at no additional cost to subscribers. Spotify stock and Apple stock both fell on Monday.


Apple (AAPL) said it will bring industry-leading sound quality to Apple Music subscribers with the addition of spatial audio with support for Dolby Atmos. Spatial audio is a technology that enables immersive, surround-sound audio experiences. Dolby Atmos is a premium quality audio technology from Dolby Laboratories (DLB).

Apple Music subscribers also will be able to listen to more than 75 million songs in “lossless audio.” Lossless audio preserves every bit of the original audio file, so listeners can hear the same thing that the artists created in the studio.

The new Apple Music features will be available starting in June at no extra charge to subscribers.

Spotify Technology (SPOT) announced in February that it would launch Spotify HiFi later this year. But it has yet to specify a launch date or pricing for its new CD-quality, lossless audio format.

Big Advancement For Apple Music Sound Quality

“Apple Music is making its biggest advancement ever in sound quality,” Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats, said in a news release.

He added, “Listening to a song in Dolby Atmos is like magic. The music comes from all around you and sounds incredible. Now we are bringing this truly innovative and immersive experience to our listeners with music from their favorite artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd and so many more.”

As the music streaming market becomes increasingly competitive, high-fidelity music is another way to differentiate services. In a note to clients, Futuresource analyst Alexandre Jornod said the hi-fi Apple Music service at no additional cost to users is a “huge development in the streaming market.”

Spotify, Apple Rivalry Leads To EU Action

Spotify has accused Apple of abusing its market power with its App Store policies. On April 30, a European Union regulatory body charged Apple with abusing its dominant position in the distribution of apps following an investigation sparked by an antitrust complaint from Spotify.

Spotify ended the first quarter with 158 million premium subscribers worldwide. Apple has not provided Apple Music subscriber figures for a couple of years.

In afternoon trading on the stock market today, Apple stock dropped 1.4%, near 125.60. Spotify stock declined 2.8%, near 217.40. And Dolby dipped 0.7%, near 94.70.

Follow Patrick Seitz on Twitter at @IBD_PSeitz for more stories on consumer technology, software and semiconductor stocks.


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