Spotify HiFi reappears in survey — but it could be pricey
Spotify’s long-awaited HiFi lossless-audio tier was originally promised all the way back in February 2021, before the company indefinitely delayed it earlier this year. Since then, there’s been no official word, but a new survey from Spotify suggests it hasn’t been entirely forgotten.
Reddit user nearlymind (opens in new tab) was sent the survey after ditching Spotify for Apple Music. Inside, former subscribers were asked if they would consider returning to something called Spotify Platinum in the “next 30 days”.
Currently, there’s no such thing as Spotify Platinum on the site, but the survey lists the advantages this theoretical tier would offer, including not just the MIA HiFi lossless audio, but things like “Studio Sound”, “Headphone Tuner”, “Audio Insights”, “Library Pro”, “Playlist Pro” and “Limited-ad Spotify podcasts.”
Some of these features are decided vague, which makes it hard for those surveyed to answer. Studio Sound could possibly be alternative branding for Spatial Audio, for example, but it’s not guaranteed.
Despite this, the company did list a theoretical price point: $19.99 for one user — double that of the current Individual account.
A pricey ask?
It’s entirely possible that Spotify is doing what lots of companies do — and listing different prices to different people across multiple surveys to try and get a handle on the average amount subscribers would be willing to pay. While this Redditor got $19.99, maybe others got $14.99 or $24.99?
The magic number appears to be $15, if the replies on Reddit are anything to go by. Capturing the mood of most, Listen_to_Psybient responded (opens in new tab): “If it were $15/month I would be interested but double the price of premium seems too steep.”
But these are the biggest Spotify fans in a dedicated subreddit and may not be entirely representative. Bluntly, any price rise might be too much for plenty of music fans.
Both Apple Music and Amazon’s Music Unlimited surprised the world by adding lossless audio to their subscription packages at no extra cost. Some believe that’s the reason why Spotify HiFi has been put on the back burner: if it couldn’t be a driver of additional revenue, then it was no longer seen as a priority for the company.
This survey suggests that Spotify is re-examining whether it can still be used to squeeze a bit more money out of subscribers, but the company will certainly have its work cut out. For $5 less than the mooted price here, users can sign up for Apple One, giving them Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV Plus and 50GB of iCloud storage. For $5 more, they can get all that for up to six people with an extra 150GB of cloud storage.
That’s the kind of value that companies the size of Apple can afford to offer, and it’s tough for a relatively small business like Spotify to beat. It may have been the first to do streaming music well, but now the competition is too fierce to just stand still.