If you were hoping for a Spotify HiFi update (aka Spotify's hotly-anticipated foray into hi-res audio streaming) we're about to disappoint you. If, however, you want to keep costs less than Premium but unlock a few paid-for current Spotify features, Spotify Plus is a new $0.99 subscription tier being tested by the streaming service which combines elements of its existing Free and Premium tiers.
Like Spotify's cost-free tier, the plan still features ads, but with Plus there is no limit on the number of tracks you can skip per hour. Users can also pick the specific songs they want to stream, rather than being largely limited shuffle listens within albums and playlists. The new Spotify Plus tier is just 10 per cent of the cost of Spotify’s ad-free, unrestricted Premium tier, which Spotify increased to $9.99 (£9.99) a month in April of this year.
Spotify Plus is essentially an inexpensive way to reduce Spotify Free's restrictions, such as the inability to skip more than six tracks per hour, only being able to listen to specific tracks from 15 selected playlists (such as algorithmically generated 'Discover Weekly' and 'Daily Mix') and shuffle listening.
As first reported by The Verge, news of the test tier was originally shared by users and has since been officially confirmed by Spotify in a statement. “We’re always working to enhance the Spotify experience and we routinely conduct tests to inform our decisions,” a spokesperson for Spotify said. “We’re currently conducting a test of an ad-supported subscription plan with a limited number of our users.”
Spotify also warned that there’s no guarantee Spotify Plus will launch in its current form – or at all, adding, “Some tests end up paving the way for new offerings or enhancements while others may only provide learnings."
Spotify is noted for regularly aiming to offer its loyal subscribers something new, including a Storytel audiobook partnership, a wider in-app "Hey Spotify" wake-word rollout, 'Only You' and 'Blend' features, a virtual concert series and 'What's New' notifications – and that's just in the past few months. Clearly, the popular streaming giant is now trying to offer choice at the very budget end of the streaming spectrum.
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