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, the green giant has revealed during its 'Stream On' online event today.
Spotify will join the likes of Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer and Amazon in offering lossless streaming "beginning later this year". Spotify is promising to share more details on Spotify HiFi soon, such as the all-important price, device compatibility, territories and launch dates.
CD-quality streams will be compatible with Spotify Connect, allowing Spotify HiFi subscribers to easily play high-quality streams between their phone (via the iOS and Android apps presumably) or, fingers crossed, their computer (via the desktop app or web player) and the mass of Spotify Connect-enabled speakers and devices on the market.
"We’re working with some of the world’s biggest speaker manufacturers to make Spotify HiFi accessible to as many fans as possible through Spotify Connect," reads Spotify's statement.
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 in the US and UK, and is unavailable in Australia). If Spotify can match or even undercut that monthly fee, the future landscape of music streaming will be very interesting indeed.