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Spotify HiFi still in the works

Spotify has confirmed that it is indeed still working on its hi-res HiFi year, though it’s still being frustratingly vague on the specifics.

Over the weekend we named Spotify our loser of the week for once again failing to reveal anything on the long delayed HiFi tier at at its Stream On event. The music streaming giant first announced its hi-res audio tier in 2021, then promptly went quiet on the matter.

Gustav Söderström, Spotify’s co-president and chief product and technology officer, was asked directly about this frustrating behaviour recently by The Verge.

“We announced it, but then the industry changed for a bunch of reasons,” said Söderström. “We are going to do it, but we’re going to do it in a way where it makes sense for us and for our listeners.”

When pressed on how the industry had changed exactly, and whether the cost of the enterprise was the deciding factor (music labels charge more for hi-res access), Söderström acknowledged that “We want to do it in a way where it works for us from a cost perspective as well”, but declined to elaborate.

There’s some hope, then, in that Spotify is still intent on releasing a hi-res streaming tier at some point in the future. But there’s frustration, too, in the lack of a solid time scale or a detailed explanation of what’s going on.

One thing seems certain: whenever Spotify HiFi does appear, it might not look or work like other existing hi-res offerings. “We want to try to do something that is our own and unique,” said Söderström.

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