Back again in February 2021, Spotify designed a bold guarantee to roll out lossless music streaming just before the calendar year was out. Quick forward more than a calendar year later on, and there’s however no indication of Spotify HiFi.
So, what is the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly restricted-lipped about the fate of Spotify HiFi, but the organization has let slip a couple of specifics about the missing provider. Meanwhile, current rumors implies that Spotify HiFi may however see the mild of day, and maybe shortly.
Here’s what we know–and never know–about when Spotify HiFi could possibly finally get there.
What is Spotify HiFi?
To start with announced back in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was explained as a way for Spotify Premium buyers to “upgrade their seem quality” to a “CD-high quality, lossless audio format.”
Normally, “CD-quality” indicates streaming audio encoded with 16-little bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling fee.
But the crucial phrase in this article is “lossless,” which indicates that the audio stream contains particularly the very same sonic detail as its resource.
The main providing place right here is that you’d be listening to the new music in the precise way the artist intended–and certainly, 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 suggests the audio stream has been compressed and is getting rid of a reasonable volume of detail in the fascination of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi occur out?
The brief reply is that we really do not know when Spotify HiFi will get there. Nevertheless, some new chatter indicates it may land before long.
In accordance to a publish on Reddit, a longtime Spotify consumer who experienced lately switched to Apple Tunes claimed they obtained a survey thorough a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that offers HiFi, as nicely as other characteristics these as “Studio Audio,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Professional,” “Playlist Pro,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an excess charge (far more on that in a minute).
The Redditor mentioned the survey questioned if they would change again to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] options.”
Remarkable stuff–if it is genuine.
There have been other, prior hints that Spotify HiFi is however percolating, like a “HiFi” icon noticed in the Spotify application back in May well 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” video that manufactured the rounds a couple months later on.
Next months of silence about the difficulty, Spotify eventually did converse up about Spotify HiFi at the commencing of 2022, but the vaguely worded statement made available scant particulars:
We know that HiFi high quality audio is crucial to you. We experience the same, and we’re psyched to produce a Spotify HiFi working experience to Quality users in the future. But we do not have timing facts to share nevertheless. We will of training course update you listed here when we can.
We reached out to Spotify soon just after that announcement, but a rep would only say that the organization did “not have everything even further to share on HiFi beyond the excitement for the long term start.”
A lot more not long ago, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned through the streamer’s second-quarter earnings contact in late July.
We have given that sent follow-up inquiries, and we’ll update this story when and if we listen to back.
We’ll also hold our ears peeled during Spotify’s next quarterly earnings call, slated for Oct 25.
How a great deal will Spotify HiFi price?
All over again, we really don’t know for confident, but in accordance to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor in-depth higher than, the purported survey pegged the price tag at $19.99 a month, or double the $9.99/thirty day period Spotify Specific prepare. Ouch.
Though Spotify has never ever arrive out and explained that HiFi would price excess, the wording of its original announcement–“Premium subscribers in choose marketplaces will be in a position to improve their audio high quality to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is both an increase-on or integrated in a new prepare, this kind of as the doable Spotify Platinum tier.
It’s also worth noting that Spotify analyzed CD-excellent audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it charged an more $7.50 a month for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi supposed to appear out?
Spotify hardly ever gave a precise launch date for Spotify HiFi, but for the duration of its 2021 announcement, it stated the aspect would arrive “later this year” in “select” marketplaces.
Of study course, it’s reasonable to say that Spotify HiFi missed its launch window by a fairly huge margin.
Why hasn’t Spotify HiFi arrive out but?
Superior question. Again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” issues when questioned about the destiny of Spotify HiFi all through a enterprise earnings call. Here’s the specific quotation, as documented by TechCrunch:
“Many of the attributes that we communicate about and in particular that is related to tunes ends up into licensing,” Ek informed buyers. “So I simply cannot truly announce any details on this other than to say that we’re in continuous dialogue with our partners to provide this to marketplace.”
There is yet another cause that Spotify may have delayed Spotify HiFi: mainly because it obtained caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just 3 months right after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple both equally declared (independently, but on the identical working day) that they would start out featuring lossless, higher-resolution, and spatial audio songs tracks, all for no more cost. (Apple was totally new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, although Amazon experienced beforehand been charging excess for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Subsequent the Amazon and Apple announcements, the prospect of spending added (most most likely) for only CD-high-quality songs and (most likely) no spatial audio started to shed its luster, so potentially Spotify chose to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi offer you large-resolution songs streaming?
A great deal of Spotify’s streaming audio rivals, which include Amazon Music Limitless, Apple Music, Qobuz, and Tidal, supply “high-resolution” tunes streaming–that is, audio that is encoded at a higher resolution and sampling rate than CD-high-quality 16-little bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most marketplace varieties agree that 24-bit/48kHz is the threshold for superior-resolution audio, and these streamers that assistance it produce high-res streams all the way up to 24-bit/192kHz.
But Spotify under no circumstances mentioned everything about high-resolution audio in its initial 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 will make point out of a “Studio Sound” element in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” signify hi-res songs? Hmmm.
In any party, it’s a issue of heated discussion no matter whether the human ear can really tell the variance in between CD-quality and substantial-resolution audio–or for that make a difference, whether most folks can discern the big difference amongst lossy and lossless. We will not dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit gap listed here.
Will Spotify HiFi offer spatial audio?
As with significant-resolution audio, Spotify never ever reported something about spatial audio–that is, tunes tracks that have been blended with 3D surround effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
In the meantime, Spotify competitors Amazon New music, Apple Tunes, and Tidal do give spatial audio tracks in this sort of formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Truth Audio.
Once more, Spotify could essentially have spatial audio ideas in the works–and potentially 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 possible, and Spotify has been recognized to nix superior-profile options that in no way pretty took off.
For instance, Spotify recently pulled the plug on Motor vehicle Detail, a little touchscreen display that you could put in on a motor vehicle dashboard for on-the-street Spotify streaming.
For its portion, Spotify reported that although Car or truck Detail “worked as supposed,” it selected to halt production of the $80 product thanks to “product desire and offer chain challenges,” among other aspects.
Spotify also has a historical past of tests, teasing, and rolling out new features that later disappear–or even reappear–without clarification.
But when Spotify would seem inclined to cancel features that aren’t performing, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a project that Spotify is written content to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it’s really worth, the official Spotify HiFi announcement is nonetheless live on Spotify’s web-site.
Up-to-date on October 14, 2022 to include new developments and evaluation.