Qobuz, the hi-res-first audio streaming and download brand, is now open for business in Australia and New Zealand.
With its rollout Down Under, Qobuz is available in 18 territories across Europe and in the United States, where it came online in 2019.
There are no plans to open an Australian office, Georges Fornay, deputy CEO of Qobuz tells Billboard. Instead, the company has recruited U.K.-based Jessica Porter-Langson as a music merchandiser, an “Australian music expert” with a specific focus on the antipodean markets.
Australia’s recorded music is thriving right now, largely due to streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music. Streaming powered the market to a sixth consecutive year of growth in 2020, according trade data published by ARIA in March.
Subscription platforms, a category that includes Spotify and Apple Music, generated A$362 million in the calendar year 2020, up 14% from the previous year.
The market is far from saturated at the high-res end, notes Fornay. Qobuz is “offering something uniquely different to the other platforms out there,” he enthuses, namely the ability to download or stream at CD quality or Hi-Res “studio quality” audio (24-Bit up to 192 kHz).
In addition to its catalog of 70 million tracks, Qobuz also offers album reviews, artist biographies, musical booklets, interviews and music news.
The service in Australasia is available at several different price points, starting with the “Studio Premier” plan at A$19.16 each month (or A$229.99 yearly), while a subscription to the “Studio Premier Family” plan is sharable to up to six accounts under one roof and is priced at A$44.99 per month or A$429.99 for a full year.
The “Studio Sublime” plans unlock Qobuz’s catalog of Hi-Res and CD-quality albums, for an annual subscription of A$299.99 or A$599.99 for the family offering.
The expansion into these parts comes after Qobuz secured €10 million ($12 million) in new capital to “drive its momentum” and “consolidate its future developments.”
Founded in France in 2007, Qobuz also operates in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.