Could Spotify convince a segment of its Premium subscriber base to upgrade to a ‘Platinum’ tier with extra features for double the cost?
That’s a question many will be asking this week following reports that the streaming giant could be readying the launch of a new $19.99-per-month tier that includes HiFi audio.
According to a 9to5 Mac article, this new tier will include HiFi audio, in addition to a “Headphone Tuner” and “Audio Insights”, as well as “Library Pro” and ‘Playlist Pro”, plus “Limited-ad Spotify podcasts”.
9to5 Mac reports that a reader shared a survey with the news site sent to them by Spotify after trying to cancel their subscription.
The survey reportedly contained the information about the ‘Platinum’ service’s features listed above, and asked the user if they would consider returning to Spotify “in the next 30 days”.
Reports about Spotify’s plans to launch new HiFi audio listening on its platform come over 18 months after Spotify first announced that it would be launching High-quality music streaming on its platform.
In February 2021, Spotify said that HiFi audio, “is consistently one of the most requested new features by our users”.
Spotify announced the service at its Stream On event, with an announcement featuring Billie Eilish and brother Finneas (see below). SPOT said at the time that the HiFi feature would “begin rolling out in select markets later this year”.
The feature didn’t and still hasn’t arrived, however.
The potential imminent arrival of HiFi audio on Spotify would bring the platform in line with competitors that offer higher-definition listening options.
Apple Music’s lossless tier starts at CD quality, which is 16 bit at 44.1 kHz (kilohertz), and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz and is playable natively on Apple devices. Apple Music also offers Hi-Resolution Lossless all the way up to 24 bit at 192 kHz.
Amazon Music HD customers can stream more than 70 million lossless, High Definition (HD) songs, with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz (CD quality).
Amazon customers can also stream more than 7 million songs in Ultra HD (which is says is better than CD quality), with a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz.
Elsewhere in the market, one of the best-known existing hi-def music streaming offerings comes from TIDAL, whose TIDAL Hi-FI subscription tier costs $19.99 per month and offers CD-quality lossless streams at 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Meanwhile, Deezer offers a HiFi tier at a standard price of $14.99 per month, which, like TIDAL’s equivalent, streams music at 44.1 kHz / 16-bit via FLAC files.
Other features listed in the reported Spotify Platinum tier include Headphone Tuning and Studio Sound.
While no further details are available on either of these features, The Verge notes that “Studio Sound “could possibly be Spotify’s branding for immersive Dolby Atmos / 360 Reality audio”.
Music Business Worldwide