Spotify announced Spotify HiFi back in February 2021, but with no release date other than 'some time in 2021'.
Since then.... crickets.
Now here we are in April 2022 and still no release or update from Spotify other than these brief statements:
1) a comment from a moderator on the Spotify Community forum:
2) a comment from the CEO in February 2022 noting that Spotify HiFi has been delayed by licensing negotiations.
We can't help thinking that Apple Music and Amazon Music both adding lossless audio at no extra cost has put a spanner in the works for Spotify - nixing their plans to make Spotify HiFi a step above Premium at an extra cost. So will it happen at all? Or will Spotify listeners miss out on lossless because of a business (read profit) decision? Only time will tell.
What is Spotify HiFi?
Spotify HiFi delivers CD-quality sound through the use of lossless codecs. At present their MP3 streaming maxes out at 320kbps, which is fine for casual listening but those of us with quality audio systems want to get as much out of them as possible - hence the excitement!
The plan at this stage is for Spotify HiFi to be CD quality, lossless audio - so not hi-res audio but still a significant step up from the lossy MP3 compression Spotify currently uses.
Will it launch in Australia at the same time as Europe / USA?
That part isn't clear. Spotify have said it's launching in 'select markets' first. Are we one of them? Previously their staged rollouts have focused on the US and Europe first of all, but we're crossing fingers for a global launch.
How do I listen to it?
You'll need to upgrade from Spotify Premium to Spotify HiFi - and the cost of this is not yet clear, but it's likely to be a tier above their current Premium plan. (unless their competition's no-extra-charge for lossless forces Spotify to add HiFi to the Premium tier).
Then you'll be able to listen to Spotify HiFi on your streaming device and your Spotify Connect enabled devices, although many of these may require an update to enable the new service.
It's also likely that only some of the 70+ million tracks on Spotify will be in lossless format at time of launch, although they'd no doubt focus on the most popular material to begin with.
Watch this space
We'll post again when we hear more... in the meantime, subscribe to our newsletter below or follow us on Facebook to be first to hear when Spotify HiFi goes live!