Spotify is going hi-fi.
The popular music streaming service plans to offer a new Spotify HiFi subscription level later this year.
Music heard in CD quality is one of the most requested features by Spotify users, the company said during its Stream On event Monday. The new subscription offering is “for those listeners really passionate about audio quality,” said Jeremy Erlich, Spotify’s global co-head of music said during the event (you can watch it in its entirety on YouTube).
Spotify promised more details soon about which select markets will get Spotify HiFi later this year. But it’s likely the price of a Spotify HiFi subscription would be more than the current $9.99 Spotify Premium monthly cost.
Music will be in a lossless audio format – as opposed to digital audio formats such as MP3 that compress and discard some sound data. Spotify also is working with speaker makers to make the improved sound available through Spotify Connect, which lets play Spotify wirelessly on other devices.
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Spotify, which has 155 million subscribers and 345 million monthly active users, had musicians Billie Eilish and brother Finneas O’Connell tout the benefits of high fidelity in a video message.
“High quality audio means just more info,” she said. “There is just things you will not hear if you do not have a good sound system.”
O’Connell noted that recordings “so much detail” that can be missed with poor quality reproduction. “When we make music the way the listener experiences it is the most important thing to us. It’s in the details,” he said.
Several streaming competitors already offer CD-quality and higher resolution music. Tidal, which Jay-Z helped bring to the U.S. six years ago kicking off the high-res music competition, offers a standard $9.99 monthly subscription and a $19.99 HiFi tier with CD-quality and better tracks, including Dolby Atmos music.
Amazon has a higher quality tier, too, Amazon Music HD, which is $14.99 monthly ($12.99 for Amazon Prime members), which it claims delivers up to 10 times the bitrate of other standard streaming services. That compares to its standard Amazon Music Unlimited offer ($9.99 or $7.99 for Prime members).
Other streaming services with higher fidelity include Qobuz, which became available in the U.S. two years ago, priced at $14.99 monthly (or $149.99 annually), and Deezer ($14.99 monthly).
In other Spotify news:
- Former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen announced a new podcast series called “Renegades.” In the initial episode, they discuss how their friendship grew despite not having “a lot in common.”
- Filmmaker Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) will produce an unscripted podcast based about the Law Enforcement Accountability Project, which she launched after the murder of George Floyd.
- Anthony and Joe Russo (“Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: End Game”) signed a multi-year, multi-series deal to bring content to the service.
- “Batman Unburied,” a new original podcast series executive produced by David Goyer (“The Dark Knight Rises”) is in the works.
- Spotify will be expanding to more than 80 new markets around the world including Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America, and add 36 languages.
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.