Against all odds, Spotify will launch HiFi-quality listening… one day

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Two years after its announcement, Spotify HiFi is still going strong and will see the light of day. It remains to be seen when.

Source: Spotify

Two years ago, Spotify introduced a feature that its users have been eagerly awaiting: the arrival of CD-quality files through a new Spotify HiFi subscription. Announced to much fanfare in February 2021, the feature is still awaited. If the music streaming platform finally held a conference late last week, it finally revealed only new features for the podcast, as well as a new home screen, but still nothing on the higher-quality files side.

Finally, it is on the Decoder podcast of the American site. the edge that Gustav Söderström, co-president of the Swedish firm, spoke to confirm that the Spotify HiFi function was not abandoned. Asked if the function had been left out completely, the Spotify executive explains that the firm intends to launch this service, but “in a way that makes sense to [elle] et [ses] subscribers». «The industry changed and we had to adapt“, he says.

Halfheartedly, Gustav Söderström confirms that Spotify was surprised by its own competitors. It must be said that, a few months after this announcement, Apple had released the files in HD quality at no additional cost on Apple Music. Tidal, Amazon Music and Deezer followed behind, offering a basic subscription with at least CD-quality files at no additional cost, while Spotify initially intended to offer these CD-quality files at a higher price than the classic package. A choice that is explained in particular by the fact that record labels charge for listening to these better quality files at a higher price for streaming platforms: “There is a risk of becoming commonplace if you simply do what everyone else does, offering the cheapest or the fastest. We want to do something thoughtful.».

Spatial audio may well be coming to an end

If Gustav Söderström confirms that Spotify will launch its Spotify HiFi feature in the short, medium or long term, without giving a date, he’s a bit more enigmatic as to the other direction taken by the music streaming industry: spatial audio. He recalls that Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music now offer Dolby Atmos files, and that Amazon Music and Tidal even include Sony 360 Reality Audio files. Asked if Spotify was planning to launch itself in this field, Gustav Söderström indicated that he did not wish to comment on this subject: “I’m not going to comment on that now. I want to save this for later».

If Spotify’s framework does not clearly confirm the platform’s interest in spatial audio, it indicates instead that it has announcements to make on this topic.”later“. We can therefore expect, here too, announcements in the short, medium or long term, without further details.

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