In early 2021, Spotify announced its plan to launch a HiFi tier, which will offer CD-quality music on its streaming service.
However, nearly a year since its initial announcement, the tier is nowhere to be seen. Following backlash from its subscribers, Spotify has finally provided an update on its HiFi streaming plan.
No Clear Timeline for Spotify's HiFi Launch
Spotify's planned paid HiFi tier will allow subscribers to stream CD-quality music. Currently, Spotify only streams music in 320kbps. Sadly, if you were hoping Spotify would launch its HiFi streaming tier soon, prepare to be disappointed.
In an update on Spotify Community, the company says that while it is “excited” about delivering a lossless experience to its Premium users, it does not have “timing details to share yet.”
As such, there's no clear timeline on when Spotify will launch its lossless streaming tier—and certainly don't expect it any time soon.
Apple Beat Spotify to the Punch With Lossless
Spotify announced its HiFi music tier in early 2021. However, Apple leapfrogged the company by rolling out a lossless streaming tier to Apple Music subscribers at no extra cost. Similarly, Amazon Music integrated lossless streaming for no extra cost, while Tidal lowered the cost of its lossless tier.
Unlike its competitors, the Spotify HiFi tier only will presumably only be 16-bit/44.1kHZ ("CD-quality" audio streaming). Comparatively, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Tidal already offer high resolution 24-bit/96 kHz audio.
Initially, Spotify planned to introduce its HiFi tier for an additional subscription fee. However, Spotify will likely be re-strategizing its pricing plan given the position of its competitors.
Spotify Is Taking Time to Rethink Its Strategy
Apple's move did not leave Spotify in a good position. Charging for higher-quality streaming would seem like a poor move when competitors offer it as part of their existing premium packages.
As such, Spotify needs to rethink its HiFi streaming rollout strategy. Until the streaming service figures out its next move, don't expect the HiFi tier to be available on Spotify anytime soon.
Lots of streaming music services now offer HiFi audio, but it's only worth paying if you can actually hear the difference.