Music streaming: Qobuz’s new strategy to reach more people

Of course, Qobuz always insists on the sound quality of the files transmitted or sold in its store. It has been its registered trademark since 2007. Its alliances with equipment brands or hi-fi venues, such as La Scène Musicale, go in this direction. But in early November, the launch of its first Smart TV app on Samsung TVs gave another sign. The goal is to reach 190 million households worldwide.

Because to gain market share, you have to talk to people other than insiders. Qobuz is currently available in 18 countries around the world, in Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

High sound quality, a catalog of more than 60 million titles, dedicated software and mobile applications, original editorial content are all assets that Qobuz owns.

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  • Release date : 11/19/2021
  • Author: Qobuz
  • License: Demonstration
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“We bet on the Flac format but our algorithms adapt the broadcast format to the bit rate available on the user side,” says Axel Destagnol, Qobuz product manager. “Beyond high resolution, we also highlight our online store and our entire editorial offering.”

“Spotify is a bit like” play music “logic

Faced with the monsters of Spotify or Apple Music, the little Frenchman first tries to get rid of his stamp of specialist in classical music. “We have a very large catalog, with rap and rock,” he says. 1/3 of Qobuz’s streaming music style would now be pop / rock, 1/3 classical and jazz, and 1/3 for the rest of its music catalog. The company claims a catalog of more than 70 million titles.

But it takes more to justify a higher price than its competitors, even if it has been revised down recently.

Qobuz offers two subscriptions. The Studio Premier subscription, today between € 12.5 / month and € 14.5 / month, offers studio-quality streaming (24-bit FLAC up to 192 kHz) and editorial content. The Studio Sublime subscription, € 16.67 / month, also offers preferential rates on high-resolution purchases. Also consider a Qobuz Family subscription, which offers 6 accounts linked to 1 subscription, starting at € 20.83 / month.

“Spotify is a bit like the logic of ‘play some music’,” says Axel Destagnol. “Our users are more active,” he likes to mention. “With us, people come to hear a specific song or artist. Yes, we have playlists, but we also have albums, and many listeners listen to the entire songs.” But to stand out from the musical taps then requires some lace work to suggest a recommendation, and perhaps even a discovery, that meets the expectations of a demanding user, or that surprises them favorably.

“Fighting the overrepresentation of popularity”

Qobuz bets here on a specific use of internally developed AI. Of course, this is to encourage users to listen or re-listen to titles, as on all platforms. But exciting the uniqueness of users. “The most difficult thing is to fight against the overrepresentation of the popularity of the content as the main criterion for AI recommendations,” explains Axel Destagnol. Therefore, Qobus is also working on comparisons between user profiles to develop them. “And then we make sure that the user’s recent moves are not taken into account.”

But “human” editorial work is still an important lever for. An editorial team works on the creation of content and playlists, always with a view to personalized recommendations.

Ultimately, the product manager measures the success of his algorithm and his team by measuring backups on user favorites. The more important they are, the more relevant the recommendation will have been.

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