Spotify Might Finally Get HiFi Audio This Year — If You’re Willing to Pay a ‘Subpremium’

Spotify Might Finally Get HiFi Audio This Year — If You’re Willing to Pay a ‘Subpremium’

Spotify users biting their nails for over two years waiting for a once-heralded HiFi audio feature might be down to their cuticles at this point, but the music streaming app could finally deliver this year. Well, you will have some access to CD-quality audio as long as you’re willing to pay the “Subpremium” toll.

According to Bloomberg, the new subscription tier is slated to launch worldwide later this year but will first see a release in markets outside the U.S. Individual Premium subscribers are already paying $US9.99 a month for ad-less music and unlimited song and podcast downloads. According to Bloomberg, the “Subpremium” name won’t likely stick, but the company’s regular “Premium” subscription tier could grant an expanded access to audiobooks. This could be in a number of free hours of streaming listening, or in a set number of free titles per month, plus discounts on other books, akin to Audible’s membership model. Gizmodo reached out to Spotify for comment, but we did not immediately hear back.

Spotify first announced its HiFi audio plans back in 2021. A full year came and went, and still there was no hint of lossless audio that year or the next. After Spotify said users who paid more would eventually get access to the special sound tier, Apple and Amazon undercut their competitor by offering HiFi for free on their streaming services.

Everybody’s doing HiFi, and Spotify has been left in the dust. Hell, even Tidal has a premium HiFi option. Last year, Spotify co-President Gustav Söderström said the company was still planning a HiFi component after complaining of how “the industry changed.”

Recently, Apple and Amazon both raised the prices of their music subscription services up to $US10.99. Spotify could be trying a different strategy that would keep its U.S. Premium price consistent while making up the difference with a more expensive subscription tier. Whatever the music streamer does, it likely needs to offer more than this long-anticipated feature to entice new users. A Spotify subscription into a music/audiobook hybrid tier could certainly be interesting for those who don’t want to pay both an Audible and music streaming fee.

Spotify could use some more buzz right about now. The streaming app laid off hundreds of global staff in January, around 6% of the company. On Monday, Variety first reported that Spotify was signing a contract for ex-Daily Show host Trevor Noah for a weekly podcast. However, unlike its controversial exclusive contract with mumbling know-nothing Joe Rogan, Noah isn’t going to be forced to keep his voice solely on Spotify.

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