Poll Results: Lossless Streaming

Sometimes Polls can yield surprising results or feed back pretty much what you expected. Other times the results can be misinterpreted and in that exceptionally rare case results can be completely ignored. Cough.

Our recent Poll that asked the question — Which lossless streaming service do you use? — falls mostly in the, Yea I kinda figured category, with the majority of respondents (47%) being Tidal subscribers, 32% Qobuz users, 7% Amazon HD, 2% Deezer, while 4% answered Other. By Other, I’m assuming we’re looking at Primephonic, the classical music streaming service that offers over 3.5M tracks at 24-bit quality through their Premium service ($14.99/mo.).

I admit to being surprised by the number of people who don’t stream (7%) considered the context but this falls in line with my general thinking on this subject. As we know, I am a devoted Roon + Streaming fan, and have been for the past 5+ years. Truth be told, even though our poll included the word “lossless” which for some may equate to hi-res, I am happy to stream in CD-quality since the majority of the music I listen to is 16bit/44.1kHz. Higher resolutions are the icing on the cake and I’m on a diet.

The oddest out-of-the-blue response was an email from some unhappy soul who objected to my use of the word “lossless” because he felt, it’s always a “he”, I was somehow promoting MQA, the tech used by Tidal to deliver their hi-res content. The mere thought of this stretch of his imagination led him to wonder all kinds of things, including questioning the quality of my character, since we all know the world of make believe is ripe with conspiracy. [/nonsense.]

The real value of this kind of poll is seen over time, so I plan to run it again in a year or so. As this handy graph from Statista clearly shows, paid subscription music streaming is on the rise. Hell, even AARP is promoting hi-res streaming! Why? Because it sounds better than lossy streaming and music can change our lives.

The last surprise proffered by the poll data was the fact that no one checked more than 1 box.  I would have thought that we’d have some Tidal and Qobuz users but this kind of double dipping may simply be viewed as not being worth the squeeze. While the the Tidal and Qobuz libraries are not the same, and they use different tech to deliver hi-res (MQA vs. FLAC respectively), the % of library overlap appears to outweigh these other considerations.

I want to thank everyone who participated in our first poll and I’m working on another that I hope will offer more surprising results.