Image Credit: iPhonehacks
If you have given up on Spotify HiFi ever existing, nobody can blame you. The initial announcement was made two years ago. The streaming service recently confirmed that it is still working on the high-res audio tier, so all is not lost.
Gustav Söderström, co-president of Spotify, revealed this information during an interview on TheVerge’s podcast Decoder. The rest of his responses were, at best, ambiguous, except for one that essentially only confirmed HiFi’s existence. The “industry changed and [Spotify] had to adapt,” claims Söderström, explaining why the tier is taking so long. However, he does not go into further detail. He makes a passing reference to the price of HiFi and his dealings with music labels as the two main causes of the delay, but he does not go into further detail.
He further stated that Spotify does not want to “unnecessarily commoditize” itself by “doing what everyone else does,” Söderström claims that the company wants to do something “unique” with HiFi. Söderström refused to comment on the anticipated launch date or the inclusion of spatial audio. The co-president was only willing to say that there would be a “Spotify HiFi lossless-type experience at some point” in the future.
Image Credit: Macrumours
Spotify is looking into the future.
In that entire exchange, Söderström’s remark about having to change with the times is probably the most insightful because it perfectly captures the company’s recent initiatives. If you think about it, it is ironic to blame Spotify HiFi’s delay on the company’s desire to avoid copying other platforms. To begin with, TikTok is clearly an influence on the redesign that the streaming service is currently implementing for its mobile app. To entice users to check out the newest songs or top podcasts, it now features a vertical discovery feed. You can find out more about the project here. The TikTok experience and generative AI are fantastic additions, but from what we have seen, users don’t really want them.
Also Read: Spotify Wrapped 2022 Going Out, See How You Can Watch It?
The platform seems more focused on expanding its media collection than on offering high-quality audio. Along with real-time transcriptions, Spotify’s podcast library has grown exponentially. A new preview feature in the audiobook feed allows users to listen to a book for five minutes before buying it. Still no high-res audio, at least not anytime soon, despite all of this.