MQA Ltd., the pioneering British company behind the MQA digital music technology, has been placed under receivership. The company is facing significant financial challenges, prompting its main investor to seek an exit.
While details regarding the situation are still scarce, MQA Ltd. wants to keep its customers and stakeholders informed. The company assures the public that it is committed to ensuring that its groundbreaking audio technology continues to thrive, even in these difficult times.
MQA Ltd. has partnered with leading streaming service Tidal, which uses the company’s technology to deliver high-resolution audio streams. At this point, it is unclear whether this partnership will be affected by MQA Ltd.'s financial difficulties. I happened to recently end my subscription to Tidal and instead have selected Apple Music given its robust selection of Dolby Atmos releases.
In a bid to secure a brighter future for the company, MQA Ltd. is currently seeking a buyer and has undergone a restructuring process. The company recently filed for the Appointment of Administrators, which is the UK equivalent of filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States.
MQA’s full statement reads as follows: “Following the recent positive reception of MQA’s latest technology (SCL6), there is increasing international interest in buying MQA Ltd. At the same time, MQA’s main financier is seeking an exit. To seize opportunities and expedite this process, the company has undergone a restructuring initiative, which has placed the company under receivership. During this process, MQA simply continues to act together with its partners. While negotiations with third parties take place, we will not be commenting further.”
Meanwhile the view on the street from the audiophile world can be best summarized that MQA is a digital music technology that promised to deliver high-quality audio streams to music lovers, however, the company's business model and the potential drawbacks of its technology are certainly questionable.
According to critics, MQA aims to insert itself between music producers and consumers and take a slice of the revenue stream. To use MQA technology, music aficionados pay for the logo to appear on their playback gear and recordings, adding costs to each trac of music that reaches their ears.
Furthermore, skeptics argue that MQA's technology is unnecessary and that the process of folding up data requires calculation to unfold it, which is considered lossy in some camps. Additionally, they believe that MQA is a quintessential solution that is too late for the former bandwidth problem while still being an attempt to intercept a portion of the big music data streaming revenue. Plus, MQA has also been criticized for its digital rights management (DRM) protection, which has been used to try and convince music producers to adopt the technology.
Furthermore, as a consumer, one may be concerned about the use of "black boxes" that are not transparent in their operation. MQA technology operates in this way, and some audiophiles choose not to attach anything to their stereo unless they have at least a rudimentary understanding of how it works and what it does.
Despite these concerns, MQA continues to work on delivering high-quality audio experiences for music lovers. Users can choose to opt-in or out of using the MQA logo on their equipment and discs, depending on their preferences while it still survives.
Share this Article with your Friends
About the Author
Wesley is a lifelong music enthusiast. He started his career in the recording industry in New York City as an audio engineer, producer, and studio manager. Subsequently he toured across America as a guitarist with the short-lived band Land's Crossing. After many years in the technology sector and amassing a substantial vinyl and CD collection, he delved into immersive audio and created Hi-Res Edition to share with other listeners about the sound quality and discrete mixes available on many formats. He recently upgraded his system to 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos and continues to seek out and share about the best sounding releases.