The age of new digital formats is here. While most music these days is mastered to the Red Book CD standard, technology allows for artists to record and produce music in larger bit depths and higher frequency. Recently breakthroughs in technology have enabled more fans to listen to music in HD formats and one can reasonably assume that fans will opt for these better quality recordings moving forward.
Here are four reasons you should consider having your music recorded and mastered in an HD format.
The main reason HD music formats are gaining traction is the sound. An HD track can stream up to four times the amount of information of a CD-quality recording. Up to twenty times that of an MP3. With a nice pair of headphones or speakers, that means your music could sound fuller, sharper and more brilliant.
It should be said that some argue that HD formats are a gimmick and offer no perceivable improvement in quality. The recent resurgence of vinyl and the newsworthy success of the Pono Music service Kickstarter shows, however, that there is a growing market that thinks the difference is worth it. Even if the consensus is still out, let the fans make the call. Why not give that market what they’re willing to pay for?
Speaking of paying for it, digital HD music downloads are typically sold at 20-100% more than iTunes MP3 versions. (And they really do blow MP3s out of the water in terms of quality.) This makes sense because if fans are willing to spend the money for costly high-end music players and digital/analog converters, then they’re probably willing to pay an extra buck to hear your song in the best possible quality using those devices. The overhead for you is same, but the profit rises with the jump in price.
As high-end music players become more and more accessible and hard drive space becomes less and less of an issue, one can assume that the market will want more music in HD format. By having your music mastered in hi-fi, in addition to Red Book and Mp3, you can ensure that there will be a version available for any market in the future.
Finally, not all music is released in HD format right now. For audiophiles who have spent hundreds–if not thousands–on a stereo that will play HD music, the repertoire can often be a choice between remastered classical recordings, classic rock and Brazilian jazz music. By releasing your music in an HD format you are potentially engaging the somewhat untapped market of audiophiles who are always wanted new music to try out on their systems.
The rule of thumb is to meet your market where they are. If even a portion of the market is willing to pay more for your music in a higher quality format, then you should offer it to them. And the way things are going suggests that portion is only going to get bigger.