Technology firm Sony has revealed more of the plans for its 360 Reality Audio format, which was announced earlier this year. From late autumn, there will be around 1,000 songs available in the format through four streaming partners: Amazon Music HD, Deezer, Tidal and Nugs·net.

All three major labels are working with Sony to provide content, although the number of tracks at launch does pale in comparison to the overall streaming catalogue.

Another detail from the announcement: 360 Reality Audio “will require a paid subscription on all streaming services” – an example of hi-res audio being a paywalled feature to drive upgrades. Live Nation is also a partner for the initiative: offering than 100 live tracks recorded at its venues.

Not named in the list of four initial streaming partners is Napster, but it IS involved in 360 Reality Audio too. “Sony is also working with Napster to develop the solution of 360 Reality Audio streaming for further expansion of service providers,” is how Sony described that partnership. In a separate blog post, Napster confirmed that it will be offering the format “next year” rather than this autumn, alongside the other four. There’s no news on when (or, indeed, if) the two biggest subscription services, Spotify and Apple Music, will offer the new format.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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