Back again in February 2021, Spotify made a daring assure to roll out lossless music streaming right before the yr was out. Quick ahead far more than a year afterwards, and there’s even now no indication of Spotify HiFi.
So, what is the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly tight-lipped about the fate of Spotify HiFi, but the company has let slip a several specifics about the missing services. Meanwhile, new rumors implies that Spotify HiFi might still see the light-weight of working day, and potentially before long.
Here’s what we know–and never know–about when Spotify HiFi may eventually get there.
What is Spotify HiFi?
Very first declared again in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was described as a way for Spotify Top quality buyers to “upgrade their audio quality” to a “CD-excellent, lossless audio format.”
Normally, “CD-quality” suggests streaming audio encoded with 16-bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling fee.
But the critical time period here is “lossless,” which means that the audio stream incorporates particularly the exact sonic depth as its supply.
The principal promoting point below is that you’d be listening to the audio in the exact way the artist intended–and indeed, Spotify posted a online video in which Billie Eilish and Finneas extolled the virtues of lossless audio streaming.
As it stands, Spotify streams audio at 320Kbps in the “lossy” Ogg Vorbis structure, which means the audio stream has been compressed and is losing a good quantity of element in the fascination of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi occur out?
The brief reply is that we do not know when Spotify HiFi will arrive. Nevertheless, some new chatter suggests it may well land quickly.
According to a submit on Reddit, a longtime Spotify person who had lately switched to Apple Audio claimed they received a survey in-depth a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that offers HiFi, as perfectly as other functions these as “Studio Audio,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Pro,” “Playlist Pro,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an excess cost (much more on that in a instant).
The Redditor stated the study questioned if they would swap again to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] capabilities.”
Thrilling stuff–if it’s correct.
There have been other, previous hints that Spotify HiFi is nevertheless percolating, including a “HiFi” icon spotted in the Spotify app back again in May 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” video clip that produced the rounds a couple months afterwards.
Pursuing months of silence about the difficulty, Spotify finally did converse up about Spotify HiFi at the commencing of 2022, but the vaguely worded assertion supplied scant specifics:
We know that HiFi top quality audio is crucial to you. We really feel the same, and we’re fired up to supply a Spotify HiFi expertise to Premium users in the future. But we never have timing particulars to share nonetheless. We will of program update you right here when we can.
We reached out to Spotify shortly soon after that announcement, but a rep would only say that the organization did “not have nearly anything further to share on HiFi past the exhilaration for the upcoming launch.”
More recently, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned through the streamer’s next-quarter earnings call in late July.
We have due to the fact sent observe-up inquiries, and we’ll update this story when and if we hear back.
We’ll also continue to keep our ears peeled through Spotify’s subsequent quarterly earnings simply call, slated for October 25.
How much will Spotify HiFi value?
Again, we really do not know for guaranteed, but in accordance to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor thorough over, the purported study pegged the cost at $19.99 a month, or double the $9.99/thirty day period Spotify Specific system. Ouch.
Whilst Spotify has never ever occur out and said that HiFi would expense extra, the wording of its first announcement–“Premium subscribers in pick marketplaces will be ready to up grade their audio excellent to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is either an include-on or involved in a new strategy, these as the achievable Spotify Platinum tier.
It is also value noting that Spotify analyzed CD-high quality audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it charged an added $7.50 a month for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi intended to occur out?
Spotify in no way gave a specific launch day for Spotify HiFi, but during its 2021 announcement, it mentioned the characteristic would arrive “later this year” in “select” marketplaces.
Of system, it is reasonable to say that Spotify HiFi skipped its launch window by a reasonably significant margin.
Why has not Spotify HiFi appear out nonetheless?
Very good issue. Back again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” troubles when asked about the fate of Spotify HiFi during a organization earnings call. Here’s the precise quote, as claimed by TechCrunch:
“Many of the options that we chat about and particularly which is related to audio finishes up into licensing,” Ek told investors. “So I can not seriously announce any specifics on this other than to say that we’re in continuous dialogue with our partners to convey this to industry.”
There is yet another reason that Spotify could have delayed Spotify HiFi: because it obtained caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just a few months right after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple both equally announced (independently, but on the exact day) that they would get started supplying lossless, substantial-resolution, and spatial audio new music tracks, all for no further demand. (Apple was entirely new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, even though Amazon experienced earlier been charging excess for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Next the Amazon and Apple bulletins, the prospect of paying out additional (most possible) for only CD-excellent songs and (possibly) no spatial audio commenced to get rid of its luster, so potentially Spotify chose to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi present high-resolution tunes streaming?
A lot of Spotify’s streaming music rivals, such as Amazon Tunes Limitless, Apple Music, Qobuz, and Tidal, supply “high-resolution” music streaming–that is, audio that is encoded at a larger resolution and sampling amount than CD-quality 16-little bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most sector types concur that 24-bit/48kHz is the threshold for large-resolution audio, and those streamers that guidance it produce large-res streams all the way up to 24-bit/192kHz.
But Spotify never said anything at all about substantial-resolution audio in its preliminary Spotify HiFi announcement all it promised was “CD-quality” audio, which qualifies as “hi-fi” but not “hi-res.”
As for the “Spotify Platinum” rumors, the purported study will make mention of a “Studio Sound” element in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” indicate hi-res tunes? Hmmm.
In any celebration, it is a subject of heated debate irrespective of whether the human ear can really inform the variation involving CD-high quality and high-resolution audio–or for that subject, whether or not most folks can discern the variation among lossy and lossless. We will not dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit gap here.
Will Spotify HiFi present spatial audio?
As with significant-resolution audio, Spotify under no circumstances reported anything at all about spatial audio–that is, tunes tracks that have been blended with 3D encompass effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
Meanwhile, Spotify competition Amazon Songs, Apple Music, and Tidal do offer spatial audio tracks in these types of formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio.
Once more, Spotify could basically have spatial audio strategies in the works–and most likely that’s what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” options from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Effectively, anything’s feasible, and Spotify has been recognized to nix higher-profile features that hardly ever very took off.
For illustration, Spotify not too long ago pulled the plug on Motor vehicle Factor, a little touchscreen show that you could set up on a car dashboard for on-the-highway Spotify streaming.
For its portion, Spotify claimed that even though Auto Detail “worked as supposed,” it chose to halt creation of the $80 system thanks to “product desire and offer chain challenges,” amid other variables.
Spotify also has a background of testing, teasing, and rolling out new attributes that afterwards disappear–or even reappear–without explanation.
But though Spotify seems willing to cancel options that aren’t working, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a undertaking that Spotify is information to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it is value, the formal Spotify HiFi announcement is nonetheless reside on Spotify’s web page.
Up to date on October 14, 2022 to increase new developments and investigation.