Spotify HiFi to Debut ‘In the Future’ — But No Release Date in Sight

Spotify HiFi
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Spotify HiFi
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Photo Credit: Spotify

The long-anticipated rollout of Spotify HiFi is still on pause, the Stockholm-based streaming service has confirmed, and it’s unclear when exactly users will gain access to CD-quality audio.

Higher-ups first announced Spotify HiFi back in February of 2021, indicating at the time that additional details would emerge in the coming months – with a launch tentatively set for sometime during the remainder of the year. But execs didn’t publicly disclose these additional details about the proposed feature, which Spotify relayed would bring an extra monthly charge for premium subscribers.

On the latter front, it bears mentioning that May of 2021 saw both Apple Music and Amazon Music announce that they would offer hi-fidelity streaming at no extra charge. That same month, eagle-eyed fans spotted a Spotify HiFi icon on the music service’s iOS app, but an update then did away with the HD-audio button. Plus, August delivered a brief clip of what appeared to be the Spotify HiFi onboarding process.

Now, with 2021 having concluded sans the launch of Spotify HiFi, to the frustration of many users, the leading music streaming service has provided an update.

Posted to an eight-year-old “idea” thread on the Spotify Community board, said update appears to be decidedly light on concrete details, reiterating only that the company intends to support hi-fidelity audio “in the future.”

“We know that HiFi quality audio is important to you,” the status-update post reads. “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. We will of course update you here when we can. Take care.”

Needless to say, the brief message doesn’t identify the precise cause(s) of the Spotify HiFi delay – or highlight a possible release window – and it remains to be seen whether the upgrade will materialize in 2022.

Besides the aforementioned HD-audio support on Apple Music and Amazon Music, Access Industries’ Deezer offers HiFi music, as do the audiophile-focused Tidal and Qobuz, which raised about $11.33 million in September of 2020.

It’s possible – though seemingly unlikely – that a more insightful Spotify HiFi update could arrive as part of the company’s Q4 2021 earnings report, which is scheduled to release on Wednesday, February 2nd.

At the time of this piece’s writing, Spotify stock (NYSE: SPOT) was down about three percent from Friday’s close, for a per-share price of $217.04. The figure reflects a full 37 percent falloff from SPOT’s value in early January of 2021.