Spotify appears to be testing a new subscription tier that offers Hi-Fi lossless CD-quality audio playback for an added price on top of the regular monthly subscription fee.
Spotify Is Testing A New Lossless Audio Streaming Plan
A tweet on Wednesday showcased the Spotify page showing the potential option, called "Spotify Hi-Fi," which apart from streaming high-quality audio also includes limited edition vinyl discounts, with a free vinyl record a month for an additional $5.
Another screenshot, this time on Imgur, shows the same pricing tier and benefits, save for the free vinyl record, which is replaced by exclusive presale concert tickets. Another screenshot, however, is making the rounds on Reddit, showing no features apart from lossless audio streaming but for $10 a month.
Spotify's potential Hi-Fi audio plans mirror Tidal's plans, which also offer lossless audio playback. Spotify reportedly began conducting test runs of its lossless audio plan on select users Tuesday, Feb. 28, offering the service from $5 to $10 above the regular subscription. A few Reddit sources, however, couldn't access the new tier even when prompted with it — either they were told it wasn't available in their area or they received an error message upon enabling the plan.
It appears Spotify still needs to iron out its pricing plans, with so many different differing screenshots ambling about. The topic of lossless audio quality, however, isn't totally surprising for Spotify, and the decision may have been informed by Apple dropping the headphone jack in favor of its Lightning port, and manufacturers slowly but steadily adopting USB Type-C ports, according to The Verge. Lossless audio is a clear tentpole in that trajectory; it was only a matter of time.
The move, if implemented right might find Spotify finally able to lure CD and physical media holdouts over to its streaming service. At present, one of the many advantages of buying CDs is that people can rip music off them in lossless quality, which audiophiles highly prefer. There's really only one slight potential problem: internet speed. Lossless audio streaming will of course require more data, and not everyone has a sterling internet connection.
What Is Hi-Fi Audio?
For the uninitiated, Hi-Fi music or lossless audio are audio files that don't lose any data in compression, resulting in higher-quality playback. Think of it as the music quality that artists, studio engineers, and music producers intended for users to hear.
When pressed about the Hi-Fi audio plans, Spotify told The Verge:
"We are always testing new products and offers but have no news to share at this time."
If the streaming service finds any success in bringing a sizable chunk of its 40 million subscribers over to the Hi-Fi tier, then the company may finally push itself into profitability. An official release of the new plan shouldn't be too far off, as pricing details are now slowly emerging to a subset of users. Keep an eye out on your Spotify app for potential prompts.
Would you pay extra for lossless audio streaming on Spotify? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!