Back again in February 2021, Spotify designed a bold promise to roll out lossless new music streaming just before the 12 months was out. Quick ahead additional than a year later on, and there is still no sign of Spotify HiFi.
So, what is the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly limited-lipped about the fate of Spotify HiFi, but the firm has let slip a several specifics about the lacking company. Meanwhile, latest rumors suggests that Spotify HiFi may perhaps continue to see the gentle of day, and potentially quickly.
Here’s what we know–and really do not know–about when Spotify HiFi could possibly ultimately arrive.
What is Spotify HiFi?
Very first announced back again in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was explained as a way for Spotify Quality end users to “upgrade their seem quality” to a “CD-good quality, lossless audio structure.”
Commonly, “CD-quality” implies streaming audio encoded with 16-bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling fee.
But the key term below is “lossless,” which usually means that the audio stream consists of precisely the same sonic detail as its source.
The most important promoting level in this article is that you’d be listening to the songs in the exact way the artist intended–and in fact, 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 losing a honest amount of money of element in the curiosity of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi arrive out?
The small respond to is that we do not know when Spotify HiFi will arrive. Nonetheless, some modern chatter indicates it may perhaps land shortly.
According to a submit on Reddit, a longtime Spotify person who had a short while ago switched to Apple Music claimed they got a study in-depth a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that features HiFi, as very well as other capabilities these as “Studio Sound,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Professional,” “Playlist Professional,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an extra charge (extra on that in a minute).
The Redditor said the study questioned if they would change back to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] functions.”
Enjoyable stuff–if it is genuine.
There have been other, past hints that Spotify HiFi is nevertheless percolating, such as a “HiFi” icon spotted in the Spotify app again in May possibly 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” movie that built the rounds a several months later on.
Following months of silence about the situation, Spotify eventually did communicate up about Spotify HiFi at the beginning of 2022, but the vaguely worded statement provided scant specifics:
We know that HiFi high quality audio is vital to you. We come to feel the same, and we’re energized to provide a Spotify HiFi practical experience to Quality users in the future. But we don’t have timing particulars to share however. We will of class update you in this article when we can.
We achieved out to Spotify shortly following that announcement, but a rep would only say that the corporation did “not have nearly anything further to share on HiFi past the exhilaration for the potential start.”
Much more not long ago, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned in the course of the streamer’s 2nd-quarter earnings phone in late July.
We’ve given that despatched observe-up inquiries, and we’ll update this story when and if we hear back again.
We’ll also maintain our ears peeled for the duration of Spotify’s future quarterly earnings connect with, slated for October 25.
How a great deal will Spotify HiFi price?
All over again, we do not know for certain, but in accordance to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor in depth higher than, the purported survey pegged the price tag at $19.99 a thirty day period, or double the $9.99/month Spotify Unique program. Ouch.
Though Spotify has never appear out and stated that HiFi would cost additional, the wording of its initial announcement–“Premium subscribers in find marketplaces will be equipped to update their seem good quality to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is either an incorporate-on or included in a new plan, this sort of as the probable Spotify Platinum tier.
It’s also really worth noting that Spotify analyzed CD-quality audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it billed an added $7.50 a thirty day period for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi intended to appear out?
Spotify by no means gave a exact launch date for Spotify HiFi, but through its 2021 announcement, it stated the feature would arrive “later this year” in “select” marketplaces.
Of study course, it is honest to say that Spotify HiFi skipped its launch window by a rather massive margin.
Why hasn’t Spotify HiFi appear out nevertheless?
Very good query. Again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” difficulties when requested about the destiny of Spotify HiFi throughout a business earnings contact. Here’s the exact quote, as documented by TechCrunch:
“Many of the functions that we speak about and specifically which is linked to audio ends up into licensing,” Ek informed buyers. “So I just cannot truly announce any particulars on this other than to say that we’re in consistent dialogue with our partners to bring this to sector.”
There is a further reason that Spotify may possibly have delayed Spotify HiFi: because it acquired caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just three months immediately after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple both equally announced (independently, but on the same day) that they would start off providing lossless, large-resolution, and spatial audio music tracks, all for no further demand. (Apple was absolutely new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, when Amazon had beforehand been charging more for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Pursuing the Amazon and Apple announcements, the prospect of having to pay additional (most possible) for only CD-quality music and (likely) no spatial audio commenced to shed its luster, so possibly Spotify chose to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi provide high-resolution audio streaming?
Loads of Spotify’s streaming songs rivals, together with Amazon Audio Unrestricted, Apple Songs, Qobuz, and Tidal, offer you “high-resolution” songs streaming–that is, audio which is encoded at a better resolution and sampling amount than CD-excellent 16-bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most marketplace forms agree that 24-bit/48kHz is the threshold for higher-resolution audio, and people streamers that guidance it supply superior-res streams all the way up to 24-little bit/192kHz.
But Spotify in no way stated just about anything about superior-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 tends to make mention of a “Studio Sound” characteristic in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” signify hi-res new music? Hmmm.
In any celebration, it’s a issue of heated discussion no matter whether the human ear can basically convey to the variance in between CD-high-quality and large-resolution audio–or for that make any difference, irrespective of whether most people can discern the change amongst lossy and lossless. We won’t dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit hole below.
Will Spotify HiFi give spatial audio?
As with high-resolution audio, Spotify never explained something about spatial audio–that is, tunes tracks that have been mixed with 3D encompass effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
Meanwhile, Spotify competition Amazon Tunes, Apple Songs, and Tidal do present spatial audio tracks in this sort of formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Actuality Audio.
Again, Spotify might essentially have spatial audio programs in the works–and perhaps that is what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” capabilities from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Properly, anything’s possible, and Spotify has been known to nix large-profile capabilities that hardly ever very took off.
For case in point, Spotify lately pulled the plug on Motor vehicle Matter, a smaller touchscreen screen that you could set up on a vehicle dashboard for on-the-highway Spotify streaming.
For its aspect, Spotify mentioned that whilst Automobile Point “worked as meant,” it chose to halt production of the $80 gadget due to “product demand and source chain concerns,” amongst other aspects.
Spotify also has a historical past of testing, teasing, and rolling out new characteristics that later on disappear–or even reappear–without explanation.
But although Spotify appears willing to terminate features that are not working, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a task that Spotify is written content to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it is well worth, the official Spotify HiFi announcement is even now live on Spotify’s site.
Up to date on Oct 14, 2022 to incorporate new developments and investigation.