Again in February 2021, Spotify built a bold guarantee to roll out lossless songs streaming ahead of the calendar year was out. Quick forward far more than a calendar year afterwards, and there is still no signal of Spotify HiFi.
So, what’s the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly restricted-lipped about the destiny of Spotify HiFi, but the business has enable slip a few details about the lacking services. Meanwhile, latest rumors suggests that Spotify HiFi may possibly still see the mild of working day, and probably quickly.
Here’s what we know–and never know–about when Spotify HiFi may well lastly arrive.
What is Spotify HiFi?
Initial introduced back again in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was explained as a way for Spotify Top quality people to “upgrade their audio quality” to a “CD-high-quality, lossless audio structure.”
Usually, “CD-quality” indicates streaming audio encoded with 16-little bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling price.
But the essential phrase below is “lossless,” which indicates that the audio stream incorporates particularly the exact same sonic element as its resource.
The main marketing level right here is that you’d be hearing the tunes in the exact way the artist intended–and indeed, Spotify posted a movie 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 format, which means the audio stream has been compressed and is getting rid of a reasonable volume of element in the desire of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi appear out?
The small respond to is that we really don’t know when Spotify HiFi will get there. Nevertheless, some recent chatter suggests it may perhaps land shortly.
According to a article on Reddit, a longtime Spotify user who experienced not too long ago switched to Apple Tunes claimed they bought a study detailed a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that features HiFi, as effectively as other attributes this sort of as “Studio Seem,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Pro,” “Playlist Professional,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an additional cost (more on that in a instant).
The Redditor claimed the survey requested if they would switch back to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] options.”
Interesting stuff–if it is accurate.
There have been other, prior hints that Spotify HiFi is even now percolating, such as a “HiFi” icon noticed in the Spotify app back again in Could 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” online video that created the rounds a number of months later on.
Following months of silence about the problem, Spotify lastly did communicate up about Spotify HiFi at the starting of 2022, but the vaguely worded statement presented scant aspects:
We know that HiFi quality audio is important to you. We truly feel the similar, and we’re excited to supply a Spotify HiFi experience to Top quality people in the future. But we really don’t have timing facts to share nevertheless. We will of study course update you below when we can.
We arrived at out to Spotify soon right after that announcement, but a rep would only say that the corporation did “not have something further more to share on HiFi outside of the excitement for the potential launch.”
Much more not long ago, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned all through the streamer’s next-quarter earnings call in late July.
We have given that despatched adhere to-up inquiries, and we’ll update this tale when and if we listen to back again.
We’ll also continue to keep our ears peeled for the duration of Spotify’s upcoming quarterly earnings call, slated for October 25.
How a great deal will Spotify HiFi expense?
Once again, we do not know for positive, but in accordance to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor comprehensive higher than, the purported survey pegged the rate at $19.99 a thirty day period, or double the $9.99/month Spotify Personal system. Ouch.
Though Spotify has under no circumstances appear out and reported that HiFi would price tag added, the wording of its first announcement–“Premium subscribers in select marketplaces will be able to update their sound high-quality to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is possibly an incorporate-on or provided in a new prepare, such as the attainable Spotify Platinum tier.
It is also truly worth noting that Spotify analyzed CD-high quality audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it charged an additional $7.50 a thirty day period for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi supposed to arrive out?
Spotify by no means gave a precise release day for Spotify HiFi, but during its 2021 announcement, it reported the element would arrive “later this year” in “select” markets.
Of class, it’s good to say that Spotify HiFi skipped its launch window by a pretty substantial margin.
Why has not Spotify HiFi occur out nonetheless?
Good concern. Back again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” challenges when asked about the destiny of Spotify HiFi through a business earnings simply call. Here’s the actual estimate, as described by TechCrunch:
“Many of the characteristics that we talk about and in particular that’s connected to new music ends up into licensing,” Ek instructed traders. “So I just can’t seriously announce any specifics on this other than to say that we’re in constant dialogue with our companions to provide this to market.”
There is an additional reason that Spotify could possibly have delayed Spotify HiFi: since it got caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just a few months right after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple both of those declared (individually, but on the same working day) that they would get started supplying lossless, significant-resolution, and spatial audio audio tracks, all for no extra charge. (Apple was completely new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, when Amazon experienced previously 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 songs and (in all probability) no spatial audio commenced to shed its luster, so perhaps Spotify selected to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi give substantial-resolution tunes streaming?
Plenty of Spotify’s streaming music rivals, including Amazon Audio Unlimited, Apple New music, Qobuz, and Tidal, present “high-resolution” new music streaming–that is, audio that is encoded at a higher resolution and sampling rate than CD-good quality 16-bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most business types concur that 24-bit/48kHz is the threshold for high-resolution audio, and these streamers that aid it provide high-res streams all the way up to 24-bit/192kHz.
But Spotify by no means claimed just about anything about large-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 survey makes mention of a “Studio Sound” feature in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” suggest hello-res tunes? Hmmm.
In any occasion, it’s a matter of heated discussion irrespective of whether the human ear can truly explain to the difference in between CD-high-quality and significant-resolution audio–or for that issue, no matter if most individuals can discern the difference involving lossy and lossless. We will not dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit gap below.
Will Spotify HiFi offer spatial audio?
As with significant-resolution audio, Spotify under no circumstances mentioned something about spatial audio–that is, new music tracks that have been combined with 3D surround effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
Meanwhile, Spotify opponents Amazon New music, Apple New music, and Tidal do give spatial audio tracks in these kinds of formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Fact Audio.
Once more, Spotify may well really have spatial audio plans in the works–and perhaps that is what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” functions from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Nicely, anything’s achievable, and Spotify has been identified to nix large-profile options that in no way pretty took off.
For illustration, Spotify not long ago pulled the plug on Vehicle Factor, a modest touchscreen display screen that you could install on a motor vehicle dashboard for on-the-road Spotify streaming.
For its element, Spotify mentioned that though Vehicle Detail “worked as meant,” it chose to halt manufacturing of the $80 unit because of to “product need and supply chain issues,” among the other components.
Spotify also has a historical past of tests, teasing, and rolling out new options that later on disappear–or even reappear–without clarification.
But although Spotify appears willing to terminate options that aren’t performing, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a project that Spotify is articles to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it is worthy of, the official Spotify HiFi announcement is however live on Spotify’s website.
Current on Oct 14, 2022 to include new developments and analysis.