Spotify exec says HiFi is still coming, blames ‘other players in the industry’ for delays

Spotify’s mythical HiFi tier “is coming at some point,” at least according to a new update from the company’s co-president Gustav Söderström. Spotify first announced HiFi more than two years ago but hasn’t fulfilled its promises of actually shipping the feature.

As noted by The Verge, Söderström made this comment on a recent episode of the Decoder podcast. Unfortunately, however, he didn’t get any more specific on when HiFi will launch, just that it’s still in the works and hasn’t been canceled altogether.

“We announced it, but then the industry changed for a bunch of reasons,” Söderström said. “We are going to do it, but we’re going to do it in a way where it makes sense for us and for our listeners. The industry changed and we had to adapt.”

When pushed for details about how the industry changed or if the delay is due to cost, Söderström largely demurred. “We want to do it in a way where it works for us from a cost perspective as well. I’m not allowed to comment on our label agreements, nor on what other players in the industry did, for obvious reasons.”

Spotify first announced its HiFi tier back in 2021, saying that it would be a separate Premium tier to “deliver music in CD-quality, lossless audio format to your device and Spotify Connect enabled speakers.”

9to5Mac’s Take

Several months after Spotify announced its HiFi plans, Apple Music debuted its own high-quality lossless streaming option alongside Dolby Atmos. Both lossless music quality and Dolby Atmos are available to Apple Music subscribers at no extra cost.

The Verge says:

The Verge has recently learned that Spotify HiFi has been ready to go for more than a year. The technical work to bring the feature to market is largely complete, and the company has re-ingested its entire music catalog in lossless quality. Spotify employees have access to HiFi. But since it was originally intended to cost more than the standard plan (and thus boost Spotify’s average revenue per user), the launch was spoiled by Apple bundling lossless into Apple Music for free.

It’s hard to imagine that Apple Music’s addition of lossless audio and Dolby Atmos didn’t put a wrinkle in Spotify’s plans. Especially since Apple made these features available to all Apple Music users, not as a separate subscription tier. Regardless, Spotify’s HiFi tier is still coming… at least at some point. Maybe.

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Spotify exec says HiFi is still coming, blames ‘other players in the industry’ for delays

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