Spotify HiFi has been rumored for a while. The first announcement came from the music streaming service all the way back in 2021, but ever since then things have been largely quiet regarding adding a potential lossless audio tier to traditional Spotify Premium. The last we heard about it was back in March when Spotify co-president Gustav Söderström said "We are going to do it, but we’re going to do it in a way where it makes sense for us and for our listeners.”
But it looks like a roadmap for the premium HiFi audio streaming service may have just leaked. According to a new Bloomberg report, a new “Supremium” tier for Spotify is expected to launch later this year and will have the HiFi lossless audio feature bundled into its overall feature set.
There is a catch though, and it's a real bummer for U.S. Spotify users. This “Supremium” tier will launch in non-U.S. markets first, with a U.S. launch date tipped by Bloomberg for October 2023. So it looks like American listeners will have to wait even longer to get CD-quality audio from their Spotify subscription.
For its part, Spotify is remaining largely silent. In a response to Bloomberg, the company said “At Spotify, we are constantly iterating and ideating to improve our product offering and offer value to users. But we don’t comment on speculation around possible new features and do not have anything new to share at this time.”
This HiFi news is a low-key bummer for audiophiles
Overall, this reveal — if accurate — is a disappointment for audiophiles. While Spotify finally getting a HiFi audio quality tier, the fact that you’ll need to pay for it makes it a serious downgrade from the lossless options offered by Apple Music and Amazon Music — both of which offer lossless audio for free. Granted, both services cost $1 more a month than Spotify, but that single dollar could be well worth the upgrade if you want lossless audio.
Especially because for audiophiles, “Supremium” doesn’t seem to be offering you anything beyond premium sound quality. The Bloomberg report seems to indicate that the other upgrades for this ultra-premium tier will be focused on audiobooks, with Spotify potentially offering users some level of free audiobook streaming per month. While that’s likely a welcome change for some listeners, it’s not going to make it any more likely to justify the extra cost if all you want is better audio quality.
That's especially true if the cost ends up being a $19.99 per month fee. That was the number floated in a Spotify survey back in 2021 that referenced a Spotify Platinum subscription. At that price point, I’d be shocked to see most audiophiles choose Spotify’s HiFi offering over Apple Music or Amazon Music Unlimited unless there are some unannounced features on the way.