While there have long been alternatives to the common online music marketplaces of iTunes, Amazon, and the assortment of relatively low-quality audio streaming services, consumers have generally been satisfied (or through other technical or bandwidth limitations, made to be satisfied) with convenience and accessibility over audio quality when purchasing or streaming music online.
However as there is evidence that online music sales are now in decline, and streaming and on-demand audio services are really taking a foothold, high-quality audio streaming seems to be the new competitive battlefield.
Streaming services like Deezer Elite and Tidal have emerged which offer significantly higher quality audio than the likes of Spotify and other common streaming platforms. However the bandwidth currently required to support such high quality audio streams is currently limiting their ability to work for mobile (i.e. smartphone) listeners.
However, as the article Going Hi-Fi To Compete With Spotify (And Google And Apple) concludes, "If the mainstream on-demand music services make their huge catalogs of music available to everyone in lossless format at the same price — as Bandcamp has done for indie downloads — then the distinction between audiophiles and the rest of us will finally erode".
And wouldn't that be a great outcome?
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