Spotify co-president says HiFi is still ‘coming at some point’

Spotify co-president says HiFi is still ‘coming at some point’

Even Spotify HiFi still hasn’t launched after being announced more than two years agosome kind of lossless experience is still on the way, Spotify co-president Gustav Söderström said in an interview with The Verge. But don’t expect any specific information about when.

“We announced it, but then the industry changed for a bunch of reasons,” Söderström said in the latest episode of Decoder. “We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it in a way that makes sense for us and our audience. The industry has changed and we’ve had to adapt.”

Originally, Spotify said its plan will launch HiFi as a premium tier by the end of 2021. Since then, Apple Music and Amazon have offered lossless music at no extra charge, and high-fidelity music has spread to other service.

When pushed for details about how the industry has changed or whether the delay is due to cost, Söderström is more forthcoming. “We want to do it in a way where it works for us from a cost perspective as well. I’m not allowed to comment on our label agreements, or on what other players in the industry have done, for obvious reasons.”

The Verge recently found out that Spotify HiFi has been ready to use for more than a year. The technical work to bring the feature to market is more than complete, and the company has repackaged the entire music catalog in lossless quality. Spotify employees have access to HiFi. But because it was originally intended to cost more than the standard plan (and thus boost Spotify’s average revenue per user), the launch was marred by Apple bundling lossless with Apple Music for free. If you read Söderström’s answers, it’s clear that Spotify doesn’t intend to do this. You can now expect HiFi to appear as part of a more expensive plan — spatial audio/Dolby Atmos and other perks related to audiobooks and podcasts will likely also be included.

As for the when you can really expect to listen to lossless music on Spotify, all of which Söderström confirms that HiFi will “come to a point”. While you’re waiting, you’ll have some time to adjust to Spotify new TikTok design.

Update March 14th, 12:20PM ET: The article has been updated with more details on the current status of Spotify HiFi.