Qobuz Lowers Pricing, Some Other Streaming Services Respond

New York, NY. On November 8, at the very small New York Audio Show, Paris-based music streaming service Qobuz announced that it has streamlined its subscription plans, lowered prices, and discontinued MP3 streaming. At a press event, Dan Mackta, Managing Director of Qobuz USA, said that Qobuz now offers “Studio Premier” subscriptions for $14.99/month or $149.99 for a full year. Studio Premier grants subscribers unlimited access to Qobuz’s catalog of more than 50 million CD-quality tracks and millions of hi-rez tracks up to 24/192. Qobuz will continue to offer its “Sublime+” plan ($249.99/year), which includes streaming access plus a “substantial” discount for hi-rez download purchases from the Qobuz store. The service’s other plans have been eliminated.

Such a move has been anticipated since September 17, when Amazon Music launched its Amazon Music HD service with a game-changing $14.99 subscription price ($12.99 for Amazon Prime members).

Qobuz’s new rate is only available to the first 100,000 new subscribers.[Edit: Existing Qobuz subscribers can claim the rate until January 31, 2020.] In response to questions from Stereophile, Mackta affirmed that Qobuz is counting new subscribers, and that current subscribers who switch to Studio Premier will not be included in the count. While he doesn’t know what Qobuz’s baseline rate will be once the 100,000-subscriber threshold is reached, he promised that the Studio Premiere subscription price will not increase after the first year.

Four days later, on November 12, Germany-based classical-music streaming service Idagio, whose library contains more than 2 million tracks, also announced changes to its tiers and pricing. The new “Idagio Free” plan offers 192kbps MP3 streaming with access to the entire catalog, curated playlists, and exclusive releases. For offline listening and high-quality audio, Idagio offers two subscription plans: “Idagio Premium” at $9.99/month for 320kbps MP3 and “Idagio Premium+, which offers lossless FLAC at $12.99/month for iOS or $14.99/month on Android. Idagio is also available on Mac OS and Windows computers. Idagio does not stream hi-rez music.

John Dalton, head of the North American division of rival classical music streaming service Primephonic, which is based in Amsterdam and New York, responded to questions before Idagio’s free tier had been announced. Primephonic continues to offer their MP3 plan for $7.99-$9.99, and both CD and hi-rez for $14.99/month. Dalton stated that an MP3 tier remains warranted because it is “typically adequate [for people] who mostly / only listen on mobile devices.”

As seems to be their norm, Tidal didn't respond to our queries.

miglto's picture

I've been a Qobuz Sublime+ subscriber since Jan 2019. I am one to buy music I like, and if available in hi res I will buy that. The discount Qobuz offers on their hi res downloads has already paid for my subscription price. Additionally, you can switch to the new yearly pricing by switching plans to the same plan and you will get rebated the remainder of your higher rate subscription. Go Qobuz!

monetschemist's picture

Seriously? The FLAC files cost more on one platform than on another? Voting with my feet here...

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I don't understand that either. Let me see if I can find out.


bob stern's picture

This page says the lossless FLAC "Premium+" service only costs $9.99/mo if you enroll on their website instead of via a mobile app:


This page implies that after enrolling via the website, you can use Premium+ service on any combination of 6 iOS, Android, Mac & Windows computers at no additional cost:


That actually makes sense because subscribing via their website instead of via a mobile app allows Idagio to avoid paying a commission to Apple or Google for the mobile subscription.

PAR's picture

"Qobuz’s new rate is only available to the first 100,000 new subscribers."

Jason, you have missed the other qualification to their offer - it is only to 31st January. People who subscribe to the new plan between now and then will not find the subscription increased during their first year but as far as known at present, new subscribers from 1st February 2020 may not be offered those rates.

Qobuz has so far offered its subscription plans uniformly across all of the territories it services. Same numbers with only the currency units changing. When new plans were introduced in the USA when Qobuz opened there earlier in the year, European subscribers were offered an equivalent almost immediately in order to bring everything into line. No offer similar to this new Qobuz USA one has been made for the European services.

So, without any further information, this currently appears to be a promotional offer exclusive to the USA for a limited period of 3 months and no further conclusions may be drawn. They haven't , so far, lowered prices permanently.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I am working to get to the bottom of discrepancies between press releases intended for publication and what appears on websites. So far, I have this from Idagio, which is 9 hours ahead of me on the West Coast, and whose publicist's email now announces that he is out of the office until Thursday:

"We wanted to get the IDAGIO Free experience out in the world as soon as possible, because we think it's a great opportunity for people to get familiar with classical music and IDAGIO. In that regard, we needed to set priorities to tasks in terms of product management. Meaning, we didn't adapt/ unify the pricing yet, but will do so in the coming weeks so that prices for IDAGIO Premium and IDAGIO Premium+ are the same on all clients!"

Taking into account that English is a second language for employees of German-based companies, there you have it.

Archguy's picture

Taking into account that English is a second language for employees of German-based companies, there you have it.

FWIW, most Germans I encounter speak better English than the current residents of the USA do.