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    Qobuz Tugs on Superman's Cape, Makes Bold Move With Industry's Best Pricing

    Today Qobuz dropped a bomb that nobody saw coming. The company lowered its lossless / high resolution streaming price to $12.50 /month (annually) or $14.99 /month monthly, and said "so long" to its MP3 service level. This new price is for what it calls the Studio Premier tier.  Qobuz, the world's best high quality streaming service, is now the least expensive. This is the beauty of a competitive market in which many companies are vying for consumers' hard earned money. I love it!

     

    There are some details to this new Qobuz Studio Premier pricing. According to the Qobuz website this is an offer that goes until January 31, 2020 for the first 100,000 customers. But, Some existing customers (HiFi and Studio Monthly subscribers) will automatically be switched to this new pricing. Yearly subscribers can renew for another year to get the pricing and receive either a discount or a refund depending on how much time is left in their subscription. 

     

    I really hope Qobuz keeps its prices at this level forever. 

     


    Perspective

     

    Amazon Music HD launched in September, 2019 at a price of $14.99 ($12.99 for Prime members) per month, while Tidal and Qobuz have held steady for years at $19.99 and $24.99 per month respectively. Amazon's HD launch has been terrific on many levels, and a nonstarter on others. It's wonderful to see the Seattle-based behemoth pushing higher quality music streaming at a scale only the biggest companies can, and for a price that was much lower than any of the competition. The product has been full of issues for people who actually want to play this high quality music on most devices, but the bigger picture here is that over 100 million people are exposed to better sounding music and the issues can be dealt with via software updates. 

     

    Shortly after Amazon's HD launch, many pundits signed death certificates for Qobuz and Tidal. In most cases when Amazon moves into one's territory, the end result isn't good for the little guys. However, it's great to see that Qobuz, a tiny French company that launched in the US on Valentine's Day, 2019, is not only competing with Amazon, it's putting out a better product for less money. David is beating Goliath on every single level (user interface, customer service, playback options, etc...).

     


    Bigger Picture

     

    Perhaps the best part about this Qobuz announcement is the fact that it isn't catering to a market of audiophiles who already consume as much high quality music as any service can deliver. The best part is that now high quality music is priced within spitting distance of the low quality diluted AAC, MP3 and OGG offerings of Spotify and Apple Music. Qobuz isn't under any illusions that it will put the giants out of business, but the company believes this is major step toward the democratization of high quality music. 

     

    There are absolutely zero guarantees in life or that this bold move will turn more of the masses onto higher quality music and possibly better sounding components, but one can be hopeful when a company lays the groundwork for it to happen. I believe this is best place to start when seeking a wider audience for HiFi as a whole. The manufacturers we are all familiar with can release products costing a fraction of the price of their normal products, but this is still more than many people will spend to take a chance on something better. When the price to take a chance on better sound is less than a single pot of tea per month, one doesn't have to wait until the 1st or 15th of the month to pull the trigger. 

     

    What I'm saying is that a healthier HiFi industry starts at the source with better quality music for a little bit more money than the low quality options. 

     

     


    Note: Streaming MP3 is still possible within the Qobuz apps, nice when using an expensive and limited mobile data plan, by setting the quality level within the apps. The only thing MP3 related that's going away is the option to select an MP3 only subscription. 

     

     

    Here's a link to the new Streaming options at Qobuz - https://www.qobuz.com/us-en/music/streaming/offers

     

    And, here are the details about the new pricing - https://try.qobuz.com/faq-studio-premier/

     

    "Studio Premier gives you unlimited access to over 50 million tracks in lossless quality or Hi-Res along with our exclusive, in-depth editorial content for $14.99/ month ($149.99/year). This limited time promotion is available to the first 100,000 new subscribers and existing users until January 31, 2020

     

    As part of our mission to make high-quality sound accessible to all, we have also updated our Sublime+ plan, to the new price of $249.99/year."



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    their website sucks. I clicked all over the place and there is nowhere I can find that explains the different plans. Select "streaming plans" or "discover the Qobuz memberships" and it takes you to Studio Premier but really doesn't say what it is or what the other plans are. If you find the link to "explore our plans" you go to the same place. Is there only one plan now? It mentions "Sublime" but I can't find what that is.

     

    Click on "see compatible hi-fi brands" and you go to a page that talks about different resolutions. 

     

     

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    11 minutes ago, bbosler said:

    Is there only one plan now? It mentions "Sublime" but I can't find what that is.

    Yes, just one plan for everyone.  If you become a Sublime member you get discounts on purchasing downloads from their site.  This is explained in the video posted earlier.

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    The weird thing is that I haven't gotten an email from Qobuz about this promotion.  If Chris hadn't posted about it I wouldn't even know about it.  @dmackta please note.  I had a Qobuz account in France for several years.  The account was converted to a US subscription back in March this year.  I'm advising you of this because you may not be reaching all of your intended subscribers.

     

    I'm very happy about the Studio Premier pricing.  In France, depending on the EUR USD exchange rate, I was paying $20-$25 USD per month for HiFi.  Then the USA subscription changed that to $200 a year.  Now I also get hires streaming for $150 a year!

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    @dmackta like @rickca I haven't received an email about this new pricing system(BRAVO! for it) and I have had Qobuz since it became available and also had a France address/account for years( with an address of Oneida,New France no less-this is what the Northeast USA would have been called if the French had won on the Plains of Abraham!!--always thought this was pretty cheeky of you)

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    I really rooted (and still do) for Qobuz to succeed being the underdog and all that, and I wanted to believe the reviews that it is the best but not in my experience. The price drop is tempting to try again but for me price is not the issue only reliability. Many will say it is reliable for them which is great. I live in London with solid 70mbps fibre internet and I have no trouble with Tidal over  a few years of use, so it's not my service that is the issue.

     

    I have tried Qobuz extensively on 2 occasions with a gap of a year or more in between and found it frustratingly unreliable, drop outs/missing tracks/almost no response from help desk or follow ups. If they sort this out I'll be supportive.

     

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    @dmackta @The Computer Audiophile if I am currently and always have been in one form or another a HIFI/Premier or whatever it's called subscriber(MONTHLY)  since I will automatically get the lower monthly charge can I switch to yearly/annual subscription and how do I do that exactly? thanks(already did that with TIDAL__nice job Qobuz!)

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    On the desk top application, update your app, then in the center at the top it says modify your account.  That will open another window, click change plan, your now there with options to change from monthly to yearly. 

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    If you did not get an email about the new Studio Premier $14.99 pricing it means you did not sign up on the US website and are getting charged 24.99 pounds or euros for Studio. When I signed up for the beta even though I live in US they assigned me to the Great Britain website. Contact customer service to get your country of origin changed and price lowered. Look at the URL when you are logged in to your account to see if there is a GB in it, if so @ShawnC's method won't work. You have to be on the Qobuz US shop.

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    No sign of it in UK yet. If we don't get price parity with the US I'll quit my Studio subscription and switch to the not too bad Amazon HD which I have on trial till December. I will not put up with discrimination.

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    No sign of it in UK yet. If we don't get parity with the US I'll quit my Studio subscription and switch to the not too bad Amazon HD which I have on trial till December. I will not put up with discrimination.

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    1 hour ago, rickca said:

    The weird thing is that I haven't gotten an email from Qobuz about this promotion.  If Chris hadn't posted about it I wouldn't even know about it.  @dmackta please note.  I had a Qobuz account in France for several years.  The account was converted to a US subscription back in March this year.  I'm advising you of this because you may not be reaching all of your intended subscribers.

    I got an email from Qobuz announcing the change about 3 hours after Chris posted. 

     

    I'm guessing they will extend some kind of discount to more countries. But their prices are also dependent on the royalties they have to pay and the prices distributors determine for albums (yes, the distributors control the retail pricing and how much, if any, discount streaming services can give). 

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    I just really hope that they don’t kill my legacy sublime subscription any time soon. Like for @firedog,  my  habit of purchasing several high res albums per month with the sublime discount make the streaming subscription essentially a free giveaway. 

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    In February 2018 I paid $249.99 for Qobuz Studio.  I changed my subscription to this new Studio Premier, which from all references appears to be identical to what I already was using but $100 cheaper.  I opted for the annual pay at $149.99, but I was pro-rated the difference in the remainder of my previous annual payment, making it $85 for another 12 months of service.

     

    I hope this is right and I didn't downgrade.  Currently streaming a Qobuz track at 24/196, "Don't Keep Me Wondering" by The Allman Brothers Band with Roon.  So far so good.

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    16 hours ago, charlesphoto said:

    Another year ordered. Great deal

    Hi Charles, did you get the prorated billing already or you were billed full price and waiting for a refund?

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    17 minutes ago, Sonicularity said:

    In February 2018 I paid $249.99 for Qobuz Studio.  I changed my subscription to this new Studio Premier, which from all references appears to be identical to what I already was using but $100 cheaper.  I opted for the annual pay at $149.99, but I was pro-rated the difference in the remainder of my previous annual payment, making it $85 for another 12 months of service.

     

    I hope this is right and I didn't downgrade.  Currently streaming a Qobuz track at 24/196, "Don't Keep Me Wondering" by The Allman Brothers Band with Roon.  So far so good.

    I think you are fine, they did the same kind of thing with me. You are getting a year for $85 from the day of the change.

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    22 minutes ago, Sonicularity said:

    In February 2018

    Did you meant maybe Feb 2019?

     

    23 minutes ago, Sonicularity said:

    but I was pro-rated the difference in the remainder of my previous annual payment

    so you received the prorated price right away, I wonder why mine wasn't like that, maybe because I went from Sublime+ to Premier?

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    Love it! 

     

    I now pay $149.99/yr for Qobuz Studio Premier, $11.99/mo with military discount for Tidal HiFi, $7.99/mo for Google Play Music at a grandfathered discount rate for joining early, and I get Apple Music as part of my Verizon Beyond Unlimited plan.

     

    In my past is Rhapsody, MOG, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon Music, and a few others I can't recall that I free-trialed or joined for a month or two.

     

    I'm a streaming music fool.   Or just a fool.

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    15 minutes ago, luisma said:

    Did you meant maybe Feb 2019?

     

    so you received the prorated price right away, I wonder why mine wasn't like that, maybe because I went from Sublime+ to Premier?

     

    Yes, sorry, Feb 2019.  I changed my subscription to the new Studio Premier and opted to pay now with my credit card on record for the annual plan.  It automatically discounted the amount I had remaining on my $249.99 Studio annual plan that was already paid in full.

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    My email says this ???

     

    ".If you are serious about music, you deserve the best sound quality.
    Studio Premier gives you unlimited access to our certified Hi-Res and CD lossless quality catalog and in-depth exclusive editorial content for $14.99/month.
    Available to the first 100,000 subscribers only (offer expires Jan 31, 2020)."

     

     

    https://info.qobuz.com/optiext/optiextension.dll?ID=A45A6F8PDqFLb4YiDhD8DwxcrIVFqzEEkCGkZNN4UF7Ks6KktuSNfuUklTBahSEVyGa6o%2Bj0YjUpQjyEO14J1rJsLa4kC

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    3 minutes ago, Sonicularity said:

    Studio Premier and opted to pay now with my credit card on record for the annual plan.  It automatically discounted the amount I had remaining on my $249.99 Studio annual plan that was already paid in full

    Yeah I did the same thing but did not get the pro rate, maybe because I went from Sublime+ to Premier (different classes)

    thank you

     

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    6 minutes ago, Sonicularity said:

    11.99/mo with military discount for Tidal HiFi, $7.99/mo for Google Play Music

    I had the grandfathered price too but I wasn't using it  so I cancelled so I did with Tidal, too many systems, I preferred to simplify

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    What I would really like (additionally from Qobuz) would be like Tidal the ability of having multiple devices registered and even maybe stream simultaneously to 2 or 3 devices, for example I used to shared my Tidal account with my daughter, I cannot do the same with Qobuz. I understand that Qobuz may not prefer to go into that model (like tidal, netflix etc) or will just prefer to simplify plans, but it would be useful and I'm sure it will move more people out or Tidal over to them ...

    Just a comment

     

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    I'm giving Qobuz a try here guys.  I created an acct, and can log in on the website.  But I can't log into Roon/Qobuz, nor the webplayer using the same log in info.  Any ideas?

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    5 minutes ago, Forehaven said:

    I'm giving Qobuz a try here guys.  I created an acct, and can log in on the website.  But I can't log into Roon/Qobuz, nor the webplayer using the same log in info.  Any ideas?

    User error 😁

     

    Not sure Chris. Try your username or your email as your username. 

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    LOL  First thought too Chris.  I've tried everything.  I can log onto the Qobuz webpage perfectly, but not on webplayer nor Roon.  I guess I'll shoot QB an email.

    Thanks bud!

    Chris

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