Spotify Gets Ready To Crank Up The Audio Quality But It Will Cost You

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It feels like we've been talking about Spotify's lossless streaming option for years, because we have. The leader in streaming music has gotten by with the same compressed tunes since its inception, even as some competitors have started offering lossless music. A new report claims Spotify's higher-quality subscription will finally arrive later this year, but it'll cost you a hefty premium over the base service.

Spotify did confirm in 2021 that it was working on HiFi audio, saying it would be available that very year. However, Apple launched its lossless streaming option in 2021 and Spotify never released its promised HiFi service in the wake of Apple's announcement. In 2023, there was yet another rumor claiming Spotify would release lossless music by the end of the year. That didn't happen either. For some reason, it has taken three years for Spotify to retool, and here we are.

According to Bloomberg, Spotify is really going to do it this time. The higher audio tier will be out later this year, and it will add at least $5 on top of the base price. It will be offered as an upgrade for existing plans, so no one will have to cancel and resubscribe to a more expensive monthly plan. However, the cost of the add-on will vary based on the price of the base plan. The markup works out to about 40%, says an unnamed source.

Spotify Premium currently costs $11.99 in the US, so we're looking at $16.99 or more on the individual plan. A $20 family plan could go up to $28 under this scenario. That might be a tough sell even for the music streaming juggernaut. Apple Music costs $10.99 per month, and it includes lossless quality at no extra cost. Likewise, Tidal's $10.99 subscription includes HiFi and Atmos-enabled tracks. Amazon also includes lossless with Music Unlimited, which is a $10 subscription. 

Spotify plans
Spotify's current plans.

The company will reportedly attempt to sweeten the pot with a raft of extra features, including instant playlist generation based on activities, dates, or times of the year. The playlists will learn and adapt to your preferences over time, as well.

Given the size of Spotify's user base, it's possible this move could still generate solid revenue. Whether or not subscribers get any benefit from the upgraded service will largely depend on how they listen. A pair of AirPods probably won't cut it.