Spotify HiFi is official. Almost four years after it was first teased, a CD-quality tier is finally coming to the world’s most popular streaming service, Spotify revealed during its ‘Stream On’ online event today.
Spotify HiFi will be available later this year and “will deliver music in CD-quality, lossless audio format to your device and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers, which means fans will be able to experience more depth and clarity while enjoying their favorite tracks.”
According to Spotify, “high quality music streaming” has consistently been one of users’ most requested new features. Last summer, we speculated as to whether it was still part of the service’s roadmap and questioned if, with so many services already offering higher quality streaming, it would still be as welcome.
We concluded that “we’d love Spotify, the world’s biggest music streaming service, to champion high-quality music. However, thanks to a trio of fine alternatives, including Amazon flying the hi-res flag for mass-market streaming… we can’t say we need it”. Now that it’s (almost) here, we can’t help but feel that Spotify will be more or less the complete music service, having filled that gaping hole. That said, Spotify hasn’t said anything about ‘hi-res’ streams (generally defined as anything above CD-quality), which are already offered rivals such as Tidal, Amazon Music HD and Qobuz.
Price will, of course, come into play and we wonder how close Spotify will come to Amazon Music HD (£12.99 ($12.99) for Prime members; £14.99 ($14.99) for non-Prime members). If Spotify can match or even undercut that monthly fee, the future landscape of music streaming will be very interesting indeed.