Spotify May Soon Let You Rock Out In HiFi Audio With A New 'Supremium' Tier
At the height of the pandemic in February 2021, Spotify shared a scrap of good news when it announced Spotify HiFi. The new subscription was supposed to feature lossless music, something that many of Spotify's competitors have added with great fanfare. However, Spotify HiFi never materialized. A new report now claims the company is finally preparing to launch lossless streaming this year.
Spotify, like most music streaming services, charges $10 per month (Apple and Amazon are actually $1 more) for all-you-can-stream tunes. These files are compressed audio, representing a step down from CD quality audio. That's certainly fine for most music listeners, who are likely using compact, inexpensive earbuds. However, if you've got the equipment and the ear for lossless audio, the experience can be much better. These files are usually about ten times the size of a compressed track.
Spotify has been remarkably clear about the HiFi delay. In March of this year, Spotify co-president Gustav Söderström told The Verge that Spotify had to rethink its strategy after both Amazon and Apple rolled out their lossless music offerings. That recalibration has taken two years, but multiple sources tell Bloomberg that Spotify's enhanced service will launch this year in select markets.
Bloomberg claims that Spotify's new service tier is being internally referred to as "Supremium." It will include lossless music, but the pricing is not clear. Some surveys last year suggested that Spotify was considering a $20 monthly price for lossless. That info also hinted at audiobook integration, which might be added to the current Premium tier when Supremium rolls out. That might mean a set number of monthly titles or perhaps a limit on the number of hours. This would make Spotify's audiobook business much more popular. Currently, it only sells the books individually, and they're expensive.
The report also notes that Spotify may begin offering lossless in a small number of markets to test the feature. The initial rollout will apparently skip the US, but Supremium (or whatever they actually call it) is still expected to debut globally by the end of the year.