Announced at Spotify’s Stream On event, Spotify HiFi is the new high definition audio tier delivered by the Swedish music streaming giant.

Yesterday was a big day for Spotify. At their Stream On event, they announced their launch to over 80 new countries, the introduction of short form videos, more artist highlights, Discovery Mode offered to more labels, Marquee available in more countries, Spotify for Artists in more languages, and Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen’s new podcast.

Spotify HiFi was one of the biggest upcoming new features offered to creators and listeners. While Spotify are not the first music streaming service to offer a lossless hi-fi tier, being beaten by the likes of Amazon Music HD, TIDAL HiFi, Deezer HiFi, Qobuz Studio Premier and others, as the largest streaming company in the world, it will surely push other platforms to adopt lossless audio, as well as enable more listeners to enjoy higher quality music.

High fidelity, high definition, high resolution or lossless audio pushes the bitrate of audio streams typically from MP3s or AACs around 128-320kbps, to FLAC files at 1411kbps or higher. This extra data provides more depth and clarity to audio, allowing streamers to listen to music as the artist intended.

Spotify have stated the audio delivered to devices and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers will be “CD-quality, lossless audio”. They are working with speaker manufacturers to make this a reality on as many devices as possible. HiFi subscriptions will be an upgrade over Premium models available in select markets, rolling out later this year.

Spotify published five things to know about Spotify HiFi:

  1. High-quality music streaming is consistently one of the most requested new features by our users.
  2. Spotify HiFi will deliver music in CD-quality, lossless audio format to your device and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers, which means fans will be able to experience more depth and clarity while enjoying their favorite tracks.
  3. Ubiquity is at the core of everything we do at Spotify, and we’re working with some of the world’s biggest speaker manufacturers to make Spotify HiFi accessible to as many fans as possible through Spotify Connect. 
  4. HiFi will be coupled with Spotify’s seamless user experience, building on our commitment to make sure users can listen to the music they love in the way they want to enjoy it. 
  5. Spotify HiFi will begin rolling out in select markets later this year, and we will have more details to share soon.

We are still unsure of exactly when and in which countries it’ll launch, as well as the sound quality/bitrate of files or bandwidth required to stream them. Price is also still a question mark, with hi-fi add-ons on competitors usually costing an extra $5-10 on top of premium subscriptions, leading to a $15-20 per month figure. Will this higher subscription rate go the artist or fund Spotify’s extra bandwidth requirements? Only time will tell.

Billie Eilish and FINNEAS speak about the importance of high-quality audio for creators and fans: