Spotify Reportedly Preps ‘Supremium’ HiFi Tier, Plans to Add Audiobook Credits to Premium

Spotify HiFi
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Spotify HiFi
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Photo Credit: Spotify

Two months ago, following price increases from Amazon Music and Apple Music, Spotify head Daniel Ek signaled that he intended to raise the cost of his platform’s subscription plans. Now, the Stockholm-headquartered company is reportedly preparing to roll out a more expensive tier (complete with Spotify HiFi) known internally as “Supremium.”

Word of Spotify’s Supremium offering emerged in a report from Bloomberg; at the time of this writing, the streaming giant hadn’t formally announced the plan or disclosed a precise launch date. Moreover, a Spotify spokesperson in a statement made clear that “we don’t comment on speculation around possible new features and do not have anything new to share at this time.”

Per the mentioned outlet, however, Supremium is poised to encompass the long-awaited Spotify HiFi, which execs first announced way back in 2021. Though the enhanced package’s other components and pricing remain to be seen, it’ll be some time before stateside fans have to determine whether the tier’s worth it.

That’s because Supremium, despite being teed up to debut later “this year,” will reach “non-US markets first,” according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, to sweeten the pot for the over 210 million subscribers behind its current $9.99-per-month (in America) paid package, the Findaway owner Spotify reportedly intends to give them “expanded access to audiobooks,” which the service formally added in September of 2022.

Said expanded audiobook access – it’s unclear exactly how much on-platform traction the media has garnered given the substantial per-title price tags and the availability of free audiobook apps – will according to the same source include “a specific number of hours free per month or a specific number of titles.” Following an arrival in international markets, the bolstered tier is slated to become available to listeners in the States this October, the report shows.

Supremium and the retooled premium package represent the latest in a series of steps from Spotify to reduce costs and enhance revenue.

During the past month alone, for instance, the company has axed some 200 podcasting employees, canceled Meghan Markle’s podcast, and sold digital audio workstation Soundtrap back to its founders. But these expense-reduction efforts haven’t been accompanied by a total podcast-hiring freeze for Spotify, the stock price of which has almost doubled since 2023’s beginning.

To be sure, the company previously posted a job listing for a podcasting copy lead, and open positions identified more recently on LinkedIn include a senior manager role on the podcast FP&A team, a podcast senior machine learning engineer, and a podcast staff engineer (who will pull down a cool $185,000 to $265,000 annually, the listing indicates).

Beyond the podcast side, Spotify is looking to bring on a “Head of Hip Hop & R&B Artist Partnerships” (who will earn between $143,000 and $205,000 annually, the text shows) and, amid the unprecedented expansion of artificial intelligence, a platform liability attorney. The latter professional will “advise on Spotify’s global compliance with platform liability frameworks and copyright safe harbor laws (e.g., Section 230; Digital Services Act, DMCA).”