People have been wondering when (or even if) the likes of Apple and Spotify will get into hi-res music streaming, even if opinions still vary on how you define ‘hi-res’.

Here’s some interesting news from Apple, then: its HomePod smart speaker will soon support Dolby Atmos audio. There’s a caveat: this isn’t for music streaming, it’s for home cinema.

The speaker (but not its new little sibling the HomePod Mini) will support ‘home cinema with Apple TV 4K’, so the Dolby Atmos will be for watching films and shows on an Apple TV paired with the HomePod, rather than for listening to music.

Speculation time: ‘Dolby Atmos Music’ is also a thing, and it’s already available through services including Amazon Music HD and Tidal (the latter of whom made it available through Apple TV earlier this year, for people with the necessary speakers or soundbars connected).

Adding the home cinema flavour of Dolby Atmos to HomePod is no guarantee that Apple Music is going to get the music version – but it may smooth the path towards that if and when Apple takes a hi-res music plunge.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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