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News October 18, 2022

Will Spotify HiFi Cost as Much as Netflix Premium?

Will Spotify HiFi Cost as Much as Netflix Premium?

The long-awaited Spotify HiFi remains without an Australian release date but indications are it could be by the end of the year.

When the CD-quality feature does arrive, it might be part of a new more expensive Platinum plan that will cost as much as the $23 Australians pay for Netflix Premium a month.

The pricing has not been officially released by the streaming giant.

But 9to5Mac and The Verge had screenshots of a survey Spotify has been sharing with some customers about its upcoming subscription tiers.

9to5Mac cited a Spotify subscriber, Drew, who was shown the prices when he signalled he wanted to get out of his Premium deal after ten years, to move to Apple Music.

According to Drew, Spotify “asked if I would switch back ‘in the next 30 days for one of these features.”

HiFi will also include “Studio Sound”, “Headphone Tuner”, “Audio Insights”, “Library Pro,” “Playlist Pro” and limited-ad Spotify original podcasts.

When HiFi was first announced in February 2021, plans were to drop sometime during the year.

Users could listen to lossless audio on their devices and any Spotify Connect-enabled speakers.

The company revealed that CD-quality streaming was one of the most requested features by users stuck with 320kbps.

It was also working with “some of the world’s biggest speaker manufacturers” to make it “accessible to as many fans as possible”.

But by January 2022, the company let it slip of a delay.

“We know that HiFi quality audio is important to you,” a moderator on a Spotify forum said.

“We feel the same, and we’re excited to deliver a Spotify HiFi experience to Premium users in the future.

“But we don’t have timing details to share yet. We will of course update you here when we can.”

A month later, CEO Daniel Ek told investors and analysts during an earnings call that HiFi was caught up in licensing negotiations, and that Spotify was in “constant dialogue” with music labels about getting the feature to market.

Will Spotify customers pay extra for what is cheaper or free in other streaming services?

Apple Music introduced Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos last May for no extra cost.

On the weekend (October 16), Apple Music, automotive giant Mercedes-Benz and Universal Music Group announced a partnership that will see Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos offered natively in Mercedes cars.

It ushered “a new era of in-car entertainment by establishing the in-car audio experience as the benchmark for music production and playback quality”.

Amazon Music offers HD music listening options for its US$9.99-per-month Music Unlimited Service “at no extra cost.”

TIDAL’s Hi-FI subscription tier costs $19.99 per month while Deezer’s HiFi tier is $14.99 per month.

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