France-based streaming music service Deezer announced on Wednesday that it has teamed up with Sonos to offer a High-Resolution Audio (HRA) service here in the United States. Called Deezer Elite, this service will, for now, only be offered by Sonos and Home Integrators. However, the service is expected to roll out globally in the near future. Deezer is the second largest music streaming service across the globe.
According to the announcement, Deezer Elite subscribers will have access to 35 million tracks. They will also be able to stream the music in the FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) format, or at a standard of 1,411 kbps or higher. Customers who sign up for a full year of service will get Deezer Elite for $9.99/month, 50 percent off the regular price ($19.99/month).
"Deezer defines HRA as the same or higher sampling frequency and bit depth of a physical CD, which is 16-bit/44.1kHz or 1,411 bitrate (kbps), captured in a lossless format like FLAC, WAV etc," the press release said. "With the vast majority of music listeners using MP3 format (320 kbps or lower), the 1,411 bitrate standard represents a significant jump in music quality."
Some of Deezer Elite's features include 24/7 customer service, on-demand playlist recommendations, social networking spanning comments and music sharing, the ability to listen to Deezer Elite on any device, and synching the customer's past music history from any service.
Deezer revealed on Wednesday that it offers streaming music to 182 countries, 16 million monthly active users and 5 million paid subscribers. Deezer provides more than 30,000 radio channels on devices like smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, stereo systems, consoles and more. Deezer was launched back in August 2007.
The Deezer Elite music subscription service will be launched in the United States as a beta on September 15. Customers will be provided with a 30-day free trial. According to Sonos, customers can get Deezer Elite by opening any Sonos Controller, opening "Add Music Services," and then opening "Sonos Labs."
Tyler Goldman, CEO of Deezer North America, said that audio enthusiasts no longer have to choose between high quality music and streaming music. "We are focused on super-serving the needs of underserved market segments to continue to grow the music streaming category," he said.