After four years of teasing, Spotify earlier this week announced plans for a new high-end subscription service called Spotify HiFi, which will debut in select global markets later this year.
With the HiFi service, Spotify promises “CD-quality, lossless audio format” and aims to steer audiophiles away from other streaming platforms such as Tidal and Deezer.
Spotify said the HiFi service will work across devices, including on Spotify Connect-enabled speakers. And the company reportedly is working with some of the world’s biggest speaker manufacturers to make Spotify HiFi accessible to more via Spotify Connect.
The news, though must likely exciting for Spotify’s users, was light on the details users really want: pricing, launch date, and markets.
It’s a given that the subscription will cost more than Spotify’s Premium offering by itself as it is marketed as a Premium “add-on,” but the exact price most likely will vary by market.
Spotify’s virtual “Stream On” event announcing the service was the kind of presentation that other tech companies tend to do once or more during a year. But Spotify, the biggest streaming service in both listeners and subscribers, hasn’t held one of these events since 2018.
Singer and songwriter Billie Eilish promoted the new feature during the company’s event. “High-quality audio means more info,” she said. “There are things you will not hear if you don’t have a good sound system. It’s really important just because we make music that [we] want to be heard in the way that it was made.”
Price will be a huge factor. For its premium streaming services, Amazon Music HD charges $14.99 a month, $12.99 for Prime members. Tidal’s high-quality audio membership is $20 a month. If Spotify can match or even undercut these monthly fees, the competition and the future of music streaming should be interesting.