In the music streaming market at the moment, Apple Music and Spotify more or less reign supreme. However it seems that Sony wants in on the action and thinks that they might be able to set themselves apart by teaming up with Rhapsody and launching a streaming service in Japan aimed at audiophiles.
Dubbed Mora Qualitas, this streaming service will debut in early 2019 where it is priced at ¥1,980 per month, and will grant users access to FLAC files up to 24-bit/96kHz in quality, presuming that you have the necessary hardware to support such high-quality streams. It does seem a bit odd to choose Japan as a launch platform, but Sony is a Japanese company and as we have seen in the past, Japan has a very enthusiastic audiophile community where they go as far as installing their own personal utility poles for “purer” electricity.
The decision to launch an audiophile-grade streaming service isn’t new, and Tidal was originally positioned that way too, where they attempted to separate themselves from the rest of the streaming services by offering higher-quality streams. The company has since started to offer a regular tier in addition to the hi-fi tier, presumably since there might not be too many people who care or see the need for such high-quality streams.
In any case it remains to be seen whether or not the service will be successful. Japan is one of the countries in which physical sales of music such as CDs continue to make up the majority of music revenue.