I’m still waiting for the long awaited (and delayed) Spotify hi-fi service? Don’t hold your breath. (Which would be great, because this has been going on for over two years now.)
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek was mum on the new “CD-quality” lossless – was announced in February 2021 – on company time second quarter 2023 earningsalthough he linked some words in response to a question about the possibility of a higher level of speech.
“Hi-fi is still something we think has value,” Ek said. “But it has value for many aficionados in the advertising market. And we are interested, obviously, in how we can use it as one tool, in the future, to increase our profits.”
And that was that. The thing is, Ek is not wrong. Lossless browsing is not for everyone, only because it currently requires a wired connection, if not additional features such as digital-analog converter. For most people, audio loss on Bluetooth connections is fine.
But audiophilia is nothing new. There’s a market for it – Spotify just needs to make sense as a business model. Chances are it will eventually trigger the process apparently it was getting close to installation – you won’t get Billie Eilish to make a video about this if you haven’t already – it will cost a lot of money. And he was given it Spotify just increased its Premium pricing across the board, it is understandable that they would like a little distance between them and maybe another increase, or another way to pay.
Spotify may be the most popular music streaming service (and the only popular one that offers subscription numbers), but it’s also one of the few services that doesn’t have any sort of super-trusted approach. Amazon Music has HD and Ultra HD options. Apple Music uses its own Apple Lossless Audio Codec. Tidal (albeit a small project) has MQA and is working on FLAC (although we have done some work). found Tidal’s FLAC setting lacking).
Spotify says it finished the second quarter with 551 million monthly users, 220 million of whom are Premium subscribers.