Lossless… Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify (soon)… Roon?

The big elephant in the room: Roon and Qobuz or Tidal. What is the future?

To be clear, I am not going anywhere. I am Roon lifetimer, from 3-4 years ago I cannot exactly remember. But the question is: what will happen to Roon when Tidal and Qobuz no longer exist?

This is possible, now more than ever, with lossless becoming available from the big hitters. Amazon, Apple, and Spotify. Qobuz and Tidal cannot possibly compete on price with these big three. And since lossless is now available at really cheap price, audiophiles, including those who just play audiophiles in forums, will switch. Price is an important factor, selection too, and the SQ too.

So, if Qobuz and Tidal are gone, where does this leave Roon? Again, I love Roon, and I have 1.4 TB of my own music. But I would guess many Roon users primarily use Tidal or Qobuz with their Roon

  1. Integrate with one or more of the remaining providers.
  2. Be acquired by one of the remaining providers.
  3. Sell their technology to one or more of the remaining providers.
  4. Add music sourcing to their offering. Possibly merge with Tidal or Qobuz or both.
  5. Substantially reduce their price as a music management/metadata provider for local files.
  6. Close down.

:clap::clap::clap: You covered everything, but I am really rooting for your #1 in your list

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Roon is so slick and works so well at what it does, I hope it stays around for a long time.


Yeah, me too. I cannot imagine my listening habits without Roon. Scary.

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Hard to say, but for me personally, I’m a Roon lifer, don’t use any streaming services,** and have about 125,000 tracks of my own FLAC files. I like Roon for the quality streaming (RAAT), multiroom sync, and UI for exploring connections in my own library. Of course I fully understand that streaming is important to many, and Roon may need this to survive.

** not quite true. I have spotify. I use to test drive music, and anything I like I buy CDs or lossless downloads. And it’s my go-to for music listening on portable devices when traveling.


I think that since you have so much of your own music you are doing fine with Roon. I ripped a lot of music from a huge CD collection into Apple lossless files and am extremely pleased with the sound improvements and cataloging from Roon. I dabble with IDAGIO but have postponed getting Tidal or some such service indefinitely. I listen to classical almost exclusively but enjoy the radio streaming for jazz. There is so much you can listen too, right? Everything is so simple with the iMac, RME Dac and Purifi Class D amp and it is a total delight.

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Today’s uncertainty on streaming which could look totally different in just a year’s time is one reason I just signed into Roon for only a further year rather than lifetime.

Although it would be the ideal solution I just do not see #1 happening @Jim_F list.
I certainly hope not #6 though!!

I don’t understand why people think that qobuz and tidal will go out of business only because other companies are offering lossless? The streaming market is big and it’s growing. There are more than 2-3 companies in most markets: cars, computers, pants etc. why should streaming be different?

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I still have to understand who has a healthy business (basically, making money) among these streaming services.

Sometimes I read that Spotify is in loss, sometimes it’s Tidal, then someone arrives and injects dollars/euros/whatever to keep it alive.

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Nearly indistinguishable service/offerings and much lower prices?

I guess we would need to know what market share Tidal and Qobuz have and how it is distributed. Then, how much market share will Apple, Spotify, and Amazon take away from Tidal and Qobuz vs new market penetration for hi-res.

If they wanted to, Apple and Amazon could price their streaming services low enough to drive the others out of business.

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Why would someone pay more for a Levi pants? You can cover your legs for less. Distinction. Or: People are lazy and don’t want to change from qobuz to other services. They got used to it and don’t care for cost. Hard to say. We’ll see.

I don’t disagree, but if Qobuz/Tidal et al don’t t get new subscribers then their survival is pretty much doomed as the big boys will take more market share.

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Are they? Qobuz caters to classical and jazz lovers, tidal is for hip hop dudes :wink: I am exaggerating but marketing works and distinction and the feeling of a product matters.


Maybe Roon, Tidal, and Qobuz should merge.

I don’t know much about the streaming business. If you cannot survive without a bigger customer base despite higher prices then sure, the small ones will fade away. But if you can keep costs down and supply a smaller market they will continue to exist. BTW I will not stream from apple or amazon. Don’t want to be in business with them.

I’m streaming from Apple right now. I will probably dump Audirvana for Apple for use when I travel. The pie is only so big and will get bigger. But, will it be big enough to support all the players? Also, Tidal is not just for “hip hop dudes.” We don’t need that kind of talk here.

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Even if they merged that wouldn’t change their position towards the big companies. These big companies are so powerful they can induce some unrest in completely different markets with other much bigger players (such as rumors apple may go into car manufacturing).

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You’re arguing both sides of the issue. Roon, Tidal, and Qobuz as one might better survive than as three separate companies. Time will tell.