Sony Corporation today (Oct. 16) announced the upcoming commercial availability of 360 Reality Audio, an immersive audio experience utilizing object-based spatial audio technology. Beginning in late fall 2019, listeners in the United States, Europe and beyond can access approximately 1,000 songs in this new format through streaming services Amazon Music HD, Deezer, nugs.net and TIDAL.
Object-based spatial audio technology makes it possible for artists and music creators to produce a music experience by mapping sound sources such as vocals, chorus and instruments with positional information and placing them within a spherical space. When listeners hear content produced in the 360 Reality Audio music format, they experience an immersion into sound that closely mimics the omni-directional soundscape of a live musical performance.
The planned 1,000 songs will include leading contemporary artists like Mark Ronson and Pharrell Williams, as well as timeless classics such as Billy Joel and Bob Dylan. The service will also feature more than 100 songs recorded from an array of concerts by performers such as CHARLI XCX and Kodaline, captured through a partnership with select Live Nation Clubs & Theaters.
360 Reality Audio can be fully enjoyed on headphones and wireless speakers at service launch.
“360 Reality Audio is a proof point that innovation never stops,” said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer, Sony Electronics (North America). “The confluence of deep technical roots, tireless artists and forward-thinking hardware and semiconductor partners illustrates the tremendous draw of this radical new way to make music even more moving. Together with valued industry partners, Sony has architected the most powerful, realistic music experience for listeners and a new medium for artists to create.”
Participating streaming services scheduled for fall 2019 launch include Amazon Music HD2, Deezer, nugs.net and TIDAL. Sony is also working with Napster to develop the solution of 360 Reality Audio streaming for further expansion of service providers.
Sony is working with labels Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, as well as Live Nation, music distribution services and other music organizations to provide the technology for building a musical ecosystem around 360 Reality Audio, which will include the creation, distribution and playing of music content. Sony will also provide specifications for the 360 Reality Audio music format with the cooperation of Fraunhofer IIS, part of Europe’s largest organization for applied research. Through these efforts, Sony is working to promote this new music experience to music creators, artists and music fans, with the aim of creating an entirely new world of music entertainment.
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