Spotify HiFi is still on the way, confirms Co-President
In February 2021, Spotify announced that it’ll launch a lossless HiFi (high fidelity) streaming tier. The new tier was supposed to be available later that year. But deep into March 2023, Spotify Hifi is still missing with no signs of it coming anytime soon. So what happened? Well, after remaining mum for over two years, the company has finally broken the silence on the matter. Spotify’s Co-President Gustav Söderström recently said that HiFi streaming is still in the pipeline but delayed due to changing demands of the industry.
“We announced it, but then the industry changed for a bunch of reasons,” Söderström said in an interview with The Verge earlier this week. “We are going to do it, but we’re going to do it in a way where it makes sense for us and for our listeners. The industry changed and we had to adapt”. The Spotify executive didn’t elaborate on how the industry changed and what precisely caused the delay. But he suggested that the company is still evaluating the cost structure. “We want to do it in a way where it works for us from a cost perspective as well,” he said.
Söderström’s words suggest Apple and Amazon offering lossless streaming for free has affected Spotify’s HiFi plans. The company wanted to introduce a more expensive streaming tier than the existing ones with lossless music. But Apple and Amazon have spoiled those plans. It may now be reworking its strategies to make money off HiFi music without risking losing customers to Apple Music or Amazon Music. Spotify is unlikely to offer it for free, though. Maybe its lossless streaming tier will come with added perks such as spatial audio, Dolby Atmos, audiobooks, and podcasts.
Spotify still doesn’t have a launch timeline for HiFi streaming
Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service with more than 500 million users globally, including over 205 million Premium subscribers. The service missing lossless music is still baffling. The company has reportedly already made all necessary preparations for HiFi streaming. It has ” re-ingested its entire music catalog in lossless quality” and has also largely completed the technical work for the feature.
In fact, lossless music has been available to some Spotify employees for more than a year now. However, the streaming giant is intentionally holding off rolling out the feature to the public. Söderström said that Sopify HiFi “is coming at some point” but didn’t share even a vague timeline. Hopefully, the company will not keep its 500 million plus users waiting for lossless streaming much longer.