No one can blame you if you’ve given up Spotify HiFi will be a thing someday. It has been two years since the initial announcement. All hope isn’t lost, though, as the streaming service recently confirmed it’s still working on the high-res audio layer.
This news comes from the co-president of Spotify Gustav Söderström sitting down for an interview (opens in new tab) on TheVerge’s podcast, Decoder. Confirming the existence of HiFi was pretty much the only clear answer he gave, as the rest of the answers were vague at best. According to Söderström, the reason why the level is taking so long is that the “industry changed and [Spotify] had to adjust”, but does not elaborate further. He does hint at the cost of HiFi and treats music labels as two major factors behind the delay, and again, he doesn’t elaborate.
Söderström goes on to say that Spotify wants to do something “unique” with HiFi and not “unnecessarily commoditize” itself by “[doing] what everyone else is doing”. When asked about an expected launch date and spatial audio support, Söderström was tight-lipped. There will be a “Spotify HiFi lossless-type experience” in the future, but that’s all the co president wanted to reveal.
Hunting for trends
Söderström’s comment about the need to adapt to a changing industry is perhaps the most telling in that entire exchange, as it characterizes the company’s recent moves. Pinning Spotify HiFi’s lag to not wanting to copy from other platforms is rather ironic when you think about it. For starters, the streaming service is currently rolling out a redesign for its mobile app which is clearly inspired by TikTok. It now offers a vertical discovery feed to encourage people to check out the latest songs or popular podcasts. You even have Spotify that incorporates technology from OpenAI new DJ function to simulate a real radio DJ. Although these additions are great and do everything users really want the TikTok experience and generative AI? From what we’ve seen, not really.
It seems that the platform is more interested in expanding its media library than offering HiFi. Spotify has grown its podcast content exponentially in addition to real-time transcripts. Also, the audiobook feed has a new preview feature that allows users to listen to a book for five minutes before purchasing it. All this and still no high-res audio, at least soon. We asked Spotify if it could tell us more about its HiFi layer – nothing at all. This story will be updated at a later date.
If you want high-resolution audio, there’s a way to do it with the right set of devices. Be sure to check out the BingoTingo guide at how to buy high-res audio without the high prices.