Fresh from launching a free, ad-supported music-streaming tier, Amazon may already be looking to its next move, at the top end of its music business.

“Amazon is currently in discussion with various large music rights-holders regarding the upcoming launch of a high fidelity music streaming platform,” reported MBW yesterday, claiming that at least one major label has already agreed to license it.

The tier is predicted to cost around $15 a month, and could launch this side of Christmas. It would make Amazon the biggest player (in existing-subscriber terms) to launch a dedicated hi-res tier, joining the likes of Deezer, Tidal and Qobuz in that market.

The lead device for such a tier in Amazon’s case would surely be the Echo Plus smart speaker, with higher-quality audio already its key selling point. Any such launch would also increase speculation about any plans by Spotify and Apple Music to offer their own hi-res tiers – and what the pricing might be for those.

The report came as Amazon announced its latest financial results: net sales were up 17% year-on-year to $59.7bn in the first quarter of 2019, for which Amazon reported a $3.6bn net profit.

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