Is Spotify’s long-delayed HiFi streaming tier finally nearing its debut? A survey served to at least one user suggests that the company hasn’t forgotten about it, and HiFi might be packaged into a new more expensive “Platinum” plan that would come with other perks.
Over on Reddit, a former Spotify subscriber shared screenshots of a survey that they were recently asked to take. The questionnaire asked whether they would rejoin / switch to the service based on new plan tiers. The usual free and individual options are shown, but the survey also mentions a $19.99 Platinum tier that would carry over the standard paid benefits while adding HiFi and extra features called Studio Sound, Headphone Tuner, Audio Insights, Library Pro, and Playlist Pro. The new plan would also limit ad interruptions for Spotify’s library of original podcasts.
I messaged the Reddit user who took the survey, who shared more details on what it entailed. The survey showed several different versions of the Platinum plan. In one case, it also included access to audiobooks, which Spotify began selling in September. That theoretical plan bumped the price up further.
Spotify HiFi was originally announced in February 2021, and at the time, the company claimed it would roll out by the end of last year. That never happened, and Spotify has gone radio silent on the feature’s status ever since and refuses to provide any substantial updates.
Spotify seems determined to charge extra for HiFi
In the meantime, Apple has brought lossless and high-resolution audio to Apple Music at no extra cost. Some believe that this move caught Spotify off guard — it’s feasible the company originally hoped to charge extra for premium sound — and led to HiFi being postponed. The survey’s idea of splitting HiFi off into a pricier plan would support that theory. Amazon Music also now includes lossless streaming in its standard subscription plan.
As for the other features mentioned in the survey, “Studio Sound” could possibly be Spotify’s branding for immersive Dolby Atmos / 360 Reality audio, but I’m just spitballing there. It also seems the company might reserve advanced library and playlist functionality exclusively for the Platinum tier. What would that look like? Better organization? Smart playlists? Are those bonuses compelling enough to pay more for? Hopefully we’ll know the full details soon enough.
The Verge has reached out to Spotify for comment.