Back again in February 2021, Spotify produced a bold promise to roll out lossless tunes streaming in advance of the 12 months was out. Rapidly forward a lot more than a year later on, and there is even now no indication of Spotify HiFi.
So, what’s the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly restricted-lipped about the fate of Spotify HiFi, but the organization has enable slip a several aspects about the lacking provider. Meanwhile, new rumors suggests that Spotify HiFi may even now see the light-weight of day, and probably shortly.
Here’s what we know–and don’t know–about when Spotify HiFi may well at last arrive.
What is Spotify HiFi?
Very first introduced back again in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was described as a way for Spotify Top quality end users to “upgrade their sound quality” to a “CD-excellent, lossless audio structure.”
Generally, “CD-quality” means streaming audio encoded with 16-little bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling level.
But the crucial term right here is “lossless,” which implies that the audio stream is made up of specifically the identical sonic detail as its supply.
The primary marketing issue listed here is that you’d be hearing the songs in the exact way the artist intended–and indeed, Spotify posted a video clip 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 usually means the audio stream has been compressed and is getting rid of a good sum of element in the curiosity of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi come out?
The quick remedy is that we do not know when Spotify HiFi will get there. On the other hand, some current chatter indicates it could land quickly.
In accordance to a publish on Reddit, a longtime Spotify person who experienced a short while ago switched to Apple Music claimed they got a survey thorough a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that features HiFi, as properly as other attributes such as “Studio Sound,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Professional,” “Playlist Professional,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an more cost (far more on that in a second).
The Redditor claimed the study requested if they would change again to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] attributes.”
Exciting stuff–if it is genuine.
There have been other, earlier hints that Spotify HiFi is continue to percolating, like a “HiFi” icon spotted in the Spotify application back in May 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” online video that built the rounds a couple of months afterwards.
Adhering to months of silence about the issue, Spotify finally did discuss up about Spotify HiFi at the beginning of 2022, but the vaguely worded statement made available scant facts:
We know that HiFi top quality audio is crucial to you. We experience the exact, and we’re excited to supply a Spotify HiFi knowledge to Top quality buyers in the future. But we really do not have timing information to share nevertheless. We will of program update you in this article when we can.
We attained out to Spotify soon immediately after that announcement, but a rep would only say that the enterprise did “not have something further to share on HiFi beyond the exhilaration for the foreseeable future start.”
Additional lately, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned throughout the streamer’s next-quarter earnings connect with in late July.
We’ve since sent observe-up inquiries, and we’ll update this tale when and if we hear back again.
We’ll also hold our ears peeled for the duration of Spotify’s following quarterly earnings get in touch with, slated for Oct 25.
How substantially will Spotify HiFi price tag?
All over again, we really do not know for positive, but according to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor comprehensive above, the purported survey pegged the price at $19.99 a thirty day period, or double the $9.99/month Spotify Specific plan. Ouch.
Even though Spotify has never come out and mentioned that HiFi would price additional, the wording of its original announcement–“Premium subscribers in pick out marketplaces will be equipped to update their audio top quality to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is both an insert-on or bundled in a new system, this kind of as the achievable Spotify Platinum tier.
It’s also really worth noting that Spotify analyzed CD-excellent audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it charged an further $7.50 a month for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi meant to arrive out?
Spotify never ever gave a exact release date for Spotify HiFi, but all through its 2021 announcement, it mentioned the characteristic would get there “later this year” in “select” marketplaces.
Of course, it is reasonable to say that Spotify HiFi missed its launch window by a rather massive margin.
Why hasn’t Spotify HiFi appear out nevertheless?
Great problem. Back again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” problems when asked about the fate of Spotify HiFi for the duration of a organization earnings call. Here’s the correct quotation, as described by TechCrunch:
“Many of the features that we discuss about and in particular that’s linked to tunes ends up into licensing,” Ek advised traders. “So I just can’t definitely announce any details on this other than to say that we’re in constant dialogue with our companions to carry this to current market.”
There is another reason that Spotify could have delayed Spotify HiFi: for the reason that it got caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just three months after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple both introduced (individually, but on the very same working day) that they would begin presenting lossless, substantial-resolution, and spatial audio tunes tracks, all for no extra charge. (Apple was fully new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, although Amazon had beforehand been charging more for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Following the Amazon and Apple bulletins, the prospect of paying additional (most very likely) for only CD-quality new music and (in all probability) no spatial audio began to drop its luster, so possibly Spotify selected to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi present large-resolution audio streaming?
A good deal of Spotify’s streaming audio rivals, like Amazon Music Limitless, Apple Songs, Qobuz, and Tidal, offer “high-resolution” songs streaming–that is, audio which is encoded at a increased resolution and sampling rate than CD-good quality 16-little bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most business sorts concur that 24-little bit/48kHz is the threshold for high-resolution audio, and individuals streamers that assist it supply significant-res streams all the way up to 24-little bit/192kHz.
But Spotify never stated everything about large-resolution audio in its original 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 survey can make point out of a “Studio Sound” function in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” mean hi-res audio? Hmmm.
In any event, it is a make any difference of heated debate regardless of whether the human ear can in fact inform the distinction involving CD-top quality and large-resolution audio–or for that issue, no matter whether most people can discern the variance in between lossy and lossless. We won’t dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit hole right here.
Will Spotify HiFi present spatial audio?
As with significant-resolution audio, Spotify hardly ever reported just about anything about spatial audio–that is, new music tracks that have been blended with 3D encompass effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
Meanwhile, Spotify opponents Amazon Songs, Apple New music, and Tidal do present spatial audio tracks in these kinds of formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Fact Audio.
Once more, Spotify could possibly essentially have spatial audio plans in the works–and perhaps which is what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” attributes from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Effectively, anything’s achievable, and Spotify has been identified to nix higher-profile options that in no way very took off.
For illustration, Spotify just lately pulled the plug on Vehicle Matter, a small touchscreen show that you could install on a motor vehicle dashboard for on-the-highway Spotify streaming.
For its element, Spotify said that when Auto Factor “worked as meant,” it selected to halt production of the $80 unit thanks to “product demand and source chain difficulties,” amid other factors.
Spotify also has a historical past of testing, teasing, and rolling out new functions that later disappear–or even reappear–without clarification.
But while Spotify seems ready to cancel features that aren’t working, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a challenge that Spotify is content material to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it is value, the official Spotify HiFi announcement is nonetheless dwell on Spotify’s web site.
Up to date on October 14, 2022 to add new developments and analysis.