Music streaming is coming up on its next frontier: audio quality. On Monday, that future loomed a bit closer when Sony Music Entertainment Japan and Rhapsody International announced, in partnership, a new service called Mora Qualitas, which will be Japan’s first on-demand high-resolution music streaming service.
Sony Music Entertainment Japan — which is under the Sony Corporation umbrella but operates independently from the U.S.-based Sony Music Entertainment — will offer subscriptions to Mora Qualitas for 1,980 Yen ($17.50) a month starting in early 2019 as a streaming component to its existing high-res music download store called Mora. The new service will run off of Rhapsody’s “Powered by Napster” platform, which provides systems, tools and APIs and will deliver lossless music at 24-bit/44.1-96khz (high-resolution) and 16-bit/44.1khz (CD quality). While global industry leader Spotify launched in Japan in 2016, Sony and Rhapsody executives say they expect Mora Qualitas to appeal to a different class of consumer: diehard music fans who want a deeper, richer experience than the norm.