Spotify HiFi streaming could be part of new $20 'Platinum' tier with extras

Spotify
(Image credit: Spotify)

Spotify HiFi could finally be nearing launch, but perhaps not as we expected.

Upon cancelling their subscription to the streaming service, a Reddit user has reported (opens in new tab) receiving a survey from Spotify that hints at the possibility of a Platinum tier featuring 'HiFi' and costing $19.99 per month.

The survey supposedly asked user u/nearlymind if they would consider switching back to Spotify Platinum in the "next 30 days" for one of the following features:

  • HiFi
  • Studio Sound
  • Headphone Tuner
  • Audio Insights
  • Library Pro
  • Playlist Pro
  • Limited ad-supported Spotify podcasts

If the survey is legit, Spotify seems to be toying with the idea of launching a premium service that is double the price of its current Premium subscription plan, offering not only higher-quality audio but also a headphone tuner, additional playlist and possibly interface features, and limited ads during podcasts.

Spotify Platinum

(Image credit: u/nearlymind)

This would indeed be a deviation from what we expected from Spotify HiFi, the lossless (i.e CD quality) audio tier that has yet to transpire in the 20 months since the company first announced it – and we aren't just referring to a different name. A $20 subscription fee would price it considerably above Apple Music and Amazon Music, which both offer lossless and hi-res audio for $10 per month. Naturally, this begs the question, would Spotify Platinum actually offer hi-res audio too? You would hope so, not least as the robustly featured Tidal HiFi Plus service does for that higher subscription cost.

That Spotify looks to still be in the stage of collecting user research suggests that this new service, whatever its name and offering, might not materialise for some time yet either. Spotify fans wanting higher quality audio than that offered by its Premium plan were left frustrated at the end of last year when the company's own deadline to deliver HiFi came and went. In January, Spotify finally responded

We know that HiFi quality audio is important to you. We feel the same, and we’re excited to deliver a Spotify HiFi experience to Premium users in the future. But we don’t have timing details to share yet.

CEO Daniel Ek said the delay was down to the service being caught up in licensing negotiations, adding that it was in "constant dialogue" with music labels about bringing the feature to market. Nine months later, however, all is very quiet again in the Spotify HiFi camp. Perhaps the forthcoming premium tier is going in another direction, after all.

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Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her eight years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.

  • Terry Webb
    How about, as well as the Platinum £20 tier, subscribers could have a £15 a month tier for CD quality only with none of the extras.
    Reply