Spotify today announced it will soon offer lossless streaming through its planned ‘HiFi’ streaming tier. However, there was no word on pricing or when it will be available other than sometime in 2021. The new service called Spotify HiFi will deliver music in CD-quality to your smart phone, tablet, laptop and to Spotify Connect-enabled speakers. Expect to see audio manufacturers jumping over themselves to integrate this new lossless streaming option into their products.
Why is this significant?
Spotify’s market penetration and brand recognition makes it the Godzilla of the streaming world with customers all over the globe. They have been promising “CD-quality” for years but it has never materialised — this may prove to be the catalyst for millions of consumers to seek out better quality audio components to experience Spotify HiFi with much better sound quality.
Tidal and Qobuz have been delivering the best possible sound quality to consumers for years — but this is the equivalent of Apple telling everyone to open their wallets and buy better headphones and loudspeakers because it’s time to get serious about sound quality.
For the teaser, Spotify turned to American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and record producer FINNEAS to speak about the importance of high-quality audio options for creators and fans.
Spotify HiFi will join the ranks of Qobuz, Tidal and Amazon HD, each of which offer a premium subscription plan from $14.99 to $19.99/month. Amazon HD can be the cheapest if you’re already a prime member, bringing the cost down to $12.99.
Spotify’s Premium plan is $9.99 per month (U.S.) for access to ad-free music streaming up to 320kbps (not considered CD quality). No specifications were given as to the highest quality music files to be streamed through Spotify HiFi, but we expect to see 16-bit/44.1kHz as the base minimum. Spotify has not clarified if the new HiFi tier will offer high-res streaming to match Tidal or Qobuz.
More updates about Spotify HiFi were announced today at the company’s Stream On event online.