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Spotify Dismisses Amazon’s High-Definition Audio: ‘It’s Not a Big Differentiator’

At the moment Amazon Music launched its new high-definition audio service on Tuesday morning, which it says offers the best streaming audio fidelity available, Spotify VP and head of investor relations Paul Vogel was speaking at Goldman Sachs’ Communicopia conference in Lower Manhattan.

While Tidal and Deezer have long offered a high-fidelity service and Apple has improved theirs, Spotify, the world’s largest streaming service, has shown little inclination to do so itself — a stance that Vogel says will continue.

“We haven’t talked much about [a high-fidelty option],” he said when asked whether the company has plans to launch its own high-definition service. “If you go back and look at it, it’s not really something that’s been a big differentiator among the different services. It’s really about user interface, algorithms, playlists, discoverability and those type of things.

“So I wouldn’t say never,” he concluded, “but we think that in terms of what consumers are looking for, it’s not something that’s really resonated.”

Amazon is betting otherwise, offering more than 50 million songs in High Definition, and millions of songs in Ultra High Definition, which it claims is the highest quality streaming audio available.

Amazon Music HD is available now for $12.99 per month for Amazon Prime members and $14.99 per month for customers, or an additional $5 per month for current subscribers on Individual or Family Plans. The service is available to stream in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan.

Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music, tells Variety that according to the company’s research, the three options that are most important to users of music streaming services are catalog, ease of use, and sound quality.

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