Spotify to Launch a Lossless Streaming Service in 2021

Posted on February 22, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Spotify with 17 Comments

Spotify announced today that it plans to release Spotify HiFi, a lossless audio tier of its music streaming service, sometime in 2021.

“High-quality audio means … more info,” the ever-eloquent recording artist Billie Eilish says during a promotional video for the service. “There are things you will not hear if you don’t have a good sound system. It’s really important just because we make music that wants to be heard the way that it was made.”

Spotify’s service today tops out at 320 Kbps, which is considerably better quality than most purchased MP3 titles, but a far cry from the lossless quality offered by Amazon Music HD, Tidal, and a few other niche streaming services. Spotify HiFi is described as both “CD quality” and “lossless,” but it’s not clear yet what the actual quality level is.

Spotify says the new service will be competitive, so most are betting it will cost about $19.99 per month. By comparison, Spotify currently offers a free, ad-supported version of its service, individual accounts for $9.99 per month, Duo accounts for $12.99, Family plans for $14.99, and a Student tier for $4.99. Spotify HiFi will be an add-on to its premium tiers (everything but the individual account, I guess).

Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service, and while I’m not surprised that they’ll offer a HiFi offering, I also figured Apple would get there first.

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