In a recent interview, Spotify co-president Gustav Söderström said the company would launch Spotify HiFi at some point. But we’re not sure when precisely.
In February 2021, Spotify announced Spotify HiFi — a premium tier service to offer higher music quality than the streaming platform’s maximum 320kbit/s.
Two years later, the Hi-Fidelity audio service is yet to launch. Meanwhile, competitors such as Apple Music and Amazon now offer lossless music at no extra charge. So it wasn’t surprising that the question popped up during Spotify co-president Gustav Söderström’s interview with The Verge.
When asked about Spotify HiFi, the Söderström admitted that the music streaming industry had evolved since its initial announcement. However, the premium tier lossless service would launch after the company has figured out specific issues — which could include cost.
“We announced it, but then the industry changed for a bunch of reasons,” says Söderström. “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.”
So what was the significant industry change?
According to The Verge, Spotify already did the work necessary to bring Spotify HiFi to market.
Indeed, the company reportedly re-ingested its entire catalog in lossless quality two years ago. Furthermore, Spotify employees have had access to HiFi for a while now.
So what happened?
Well, Apple brought spatial audio/Dolby Atmos and lossless audio to its entire Apple Music catalog at no additional cost in June 2021. Since Spotify intended to charge subscribers extra for HiFi, the music streaming platform could no longer launch its premium service.
When can you listen to lossless audio on Spotify? Söderström admitted to The Verge that the service “is coming at some point.”
However, the publication believes HiFi could eventually arrive as part of a premium plan that includes spatial audio/Dolby Atmos. It could also feature other perks related to podcasts and audiobooks.