A report suggests the Apple Music lossless launch spoiled Spotify's HiFi plans, but a Spotify executive has confirmed the new tier is still coming eventually.
Spotify announced that a lossless tier called Spotify HiFi would be released in 2021. Two years later, an exec says the HiFi tier is definitely coming, but no word yet on when.
According to a report from The Verge, Spotify has had a HiFi tier available for over a year with employees able to access it. However, plans changed when Apple Music and Amazon revealed lossless music at no additional cost.
The report was generated based on an interview with Spotify co-president Gustav Soderstrom conducted by Decoder and additional information obtained by The Verge. The interview touched on the HiFi tier briefly, but no release dates or other information was provided.
"We announced it, but then the industry changed for a bunch of reasons," Soderstrom told Decoder. "We are going to do it, but we're going to do it in a way where it makes sense for us and for our listeners. The industry changed and we had to adapt."
The interviewer pressed for more details as to why the tier was delayed, but Soderstrom wouldn't specifically mention competitors or deals with labels. The report generated after states Apple Music's lossless introduction at no additional cost spoiled Spotify's plans — though Soderstrom did not say so directly.
Allegedly, Spotify had hoped to offer lossless music at a higher paid tier and may still. This tier would be a revenue driver and could offer even more functionality, like spatial audio.
The interview covered by the report was focused on Spotify's pivot into its TikTok-like format. There was no mention of a Spotify HiFi release date or of any intention to include spatial audio or other formats.