Spotify has announced that its high-quality audio tier, Spotify HiFi, which it had said would launch in select markets in November, is delayed indefinitely.
Responding to a thread on its Community website, where users voiced frustration and anger over the delay, the company said that it has no update on when the tier may become available.
“We know that HiFi quality audio is important to you. We feel the same, and we’re excited to deliver a Spotify HiFi experience to Premium users in the future. But we don’t have timing details to share yet,” the post reads. “We will of course update you here when we can.”
Judging by the response online, users were neither placated nor satisfied by the open-ended delay or the uncharacteristic terseness of the reply.
Spotify has been lapped by virtually every other major streaming service in the high-quality audio stakes: Tidal and Deezer have both offered it for years and Qobuz, a French high-quality-only service, launched in the U.S. early in 2019. Amazon Music, the third-largest streaming service in the world followed a few months later; Apple Music, the second-largest, announced Spatial and Lossless Audio last May, for no additional cost.
Spotify announced its plans for Spotify HiFi with characteristic fanfare during a press conference nearly a year ago. While it had initially said there would be a higher pricing tier, Apple’s move may have complicated that plan. As noted by 9 to 5 Mac, Apple is also rumored to have new AirPods Pro 2 coming later this year that support wireless Lossless playback.
While it’s fair to say that audio quality is not a huge priority for a majority of the generation of music fans raised on playing music over the internet, it’s the kind of thing that once you’ve experienced, you never want to go back.
Variety will have more on the situation as it develops.
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