Universal Music Group has entered into a new agreement with MQA, which will see the major’s extensive catalogue encoded with the tech company’s hi-res audio technology.
The move highlights Universal’s commitment to making its artists’ music available to streaming subscribers in high-resolution audio quality. It also follows the recent cross-industry marketing campaign Stream The Studio, launched at the 2017 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, spearheaded by The DEG (Digital Entertainment Group), to raise awareness of the advantages of hi-res audio streaming.
CES saw Jay Z’s streaming platform Tidal pledge its commitment to the cause with the launch of a new high-res audio feature dubbed Master Audio. The new function, which is available to Tidal HiFi tier subscribers, is designed to allow fans to listen to music with optimised audio quality. It is the first streaming service to come with MQA compatibility. At present, not all music available on Tidal will come with Master Audio functionality, although the firm has stated that it will feature a wide range of content from labels and artists.
Mike Jbara, CEO of MQA, said: “We’re very pleased to be working with Universal Music to achieve our goal of moving studio-quality sound into the mainstream. Universal’s timeless catalogue and impressive artist roster will fuel music streaming services worldwide and enable the premium listening experience for all music fans.”
Michael Nash, EVP of digital strategy at UMG, added: “The promise of hi-res audio streaming is becoming a reality, with one service already in the market and several more committed to launching this year. With MQA, we are working with a partner whose technology is among the best solutions for streaming Hi-Res Audio, and one that doesn't ask music fans to compromise on sound quality for convenience. We’re looking forward to working with Mike and his team at MQA to make our industry-leading roster of artists and recordings available to music fans in the highest quality possible.”