Hi-res audio fans got some big news over the Labor Day weekend with the announcement that MQA, a developer of hi-res audio capture and streaming technology, has entered into a key new agreement with the rapidly growing global music streaming platform Deezer.

The deal will enable MQA’s technology to be integrated into Deezer’s platform, as well as across the service’s ecosystem of hardware partners and connected devices, MQA said. The deal also enables Deezer to go head-to-head with its primary rival Tidal, which announced in January that it had become the first to deliver hi-res audio streaming on desktop, via its Tidal Masters service using MQA technology.

Still in the early rollout stages, MQA has enlisted a strong list of supporting brands and companies, including a number of services that share partnerships with Deezer. Those include — Bluesound, LG, Onkyo, MOON by Simaudio and Sony.

LG revealed at IFA in Berlin last week that it was including support for MQA in its new V30 smart phone, while Sony revealed MQA support will be included in its latest NW-ZX300 Walkman.

Not mentioned is if Deezer plans to offer a specific tier to access MQA streaming, and if it will have an incremental fee attached.

Read more about the MQA Deezer relationship after the jump:

In recent months, Deezer has exploded in popularity, appearing in the network platforms of devices from numerous audio brands looking to tap into the popular “Flow,” feature. Flow enables Deezer users to automatical make compilations of personal soundtracks from metadata and algorithms.

The service also makes personal recommendations to play tracks that listeners are likely to want to hear. Deezer’s music streaming service is said to have access to more than 43 million songs, is live in 185 countries, and has more than 12 million active users across the globe.

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MQA music technology is designed to capture and reproduce original studio recordings in a file that’s small enough to stream.  Over the last 15 months, MQA has been concluding deals with all three major record labels, as well as Merlin on behalf of the independent label community. Warner Music  and Universal Music have already committed to supporting the format, giving MQA a solid catalog.

MQA had developed a method of digitally storing recorded music in a small file format without sacrificing elements of the sound lost to most  compressed file formats. MQA tracks use a similar bandwidth to that required for CD-quality streams.


By Greg Tarr


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