Sony Music Entertainment ‘s Japan entity (SMEJ) has partnered with Rhapsody International to launch what is being touted as the first on-demand, high-resolution music streaming service in Japan.

While SMEJ contributes to the overall Sony Corp music division, it is run separately from Sony Music Entertainment, which is headquartered in New York.

This new service is called Mora Qualitas, which will be powered by Rhapsody’s Napster platform – including its systems, tools, and APIs.

A subscription to Mora Qualitas will cost 1,980 Yen a month for lossless FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) streaming at a standard of 24-bit/44.1-96khz (Hi-Resolution)/ 16-bit/44.1khz (CD quality).

Mora Qualitas is available for Windows and Macintosh desktop users initially, with other platforms to follow.

We are committed to acclerating the growth of streaming on a global scale by helping new services like Mora Qualitas launch quickly as well as enhancing existing services.

“Our partnership with Sony Music Entertainment Japan offers the ultimate experience for audio enthusiasts in Japan as they no longer have to choose between a streaming service and high-quality audio.

“With more qualitas, fans can now have both for the very first time,” said Brian Ringer, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific Region of Rhapsody.

Shigeki Tanaka, Senior Vice President of Sony Music Entertainment Japan said, on the occasion of the launch: “There is a lot of momentum happening in streaming and it’s going to keep getting better for consumers and artists with the introduction of Mora Qualitas, our new global on-demand audio service.

“Napster’s deep expertise in high-resolution audio streaming and industry experience made them the clear choice to partner with us in launching Japan’s new premier service.”

The launch of Mora Qualitas comes two years after Spotify arrived in Japan, back in September 2016. 

Post Spotify’s launch in Japan, 2017, the market’s subscription streaming music revenues only grew by $40m year-on-year, in an entire year.

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Likes to write about music like she likes to sing; in public but for private gratification.

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