Spotify CEO says a hi-fi option probably isn’t for you


Spotify on an iPhone.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Traits

Nonetheless ready for the long-awaited (and lengthy overdue) Spotify hi-fi service? Don’t proceed to carry your breath. (Which actually can be a feat, provided that this has been occurring for greater than two years now.)

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek was comparatively mum on any new particulars for a “lossless CD-quality” streaming choice — announced in February 2021 — in the course of the firm’s second-quarter 2023 earnings call, although he did at the least string collectively some phrases in response to a query about the potential of a better audio high quality.

“Hello-fi stays one thing that we predict has worth,” Ek mentioned. “But it surely has worth to extra aficionados within the streaming market. And we’re involved in, clearly, how we will use that as one software to, sooner or later, improve our price even additional.”

And that was that. The factor is, Ek isn’t mistaken. Lossless streaming isn’t for everybody, if solely as a result of it at the moment requires at the least a wired connection, if not extra {hardware} like a standalone digital-analog converter. For most folk, lossy audio over a Bluetooth connection is completely nice.

However audiophilia isn’t something new. There’s a marketplace for it — Spotify simply has to make it make sense when it comes to a enterprise technique. Chances are high if it does finally launch the choice it very obviously was getting close to launching — you don’t get Billie Eilish to make a video about it for those who weren’t — it’ll value extra. And provided that Spotify just increased its Premium pricing throughout the board, it is sensible that it’d need slightly distance between that and both one other improve, or at the least one other paid choice.

Spotify could also be the preferred streaming music service (and it’s the one one of many majors that truly provides subscription numbers), nevertheless it’s additionally one of many few main providers that lacks any form of high-fidelity choice. Amazon Music has HD and Extremely HD choices. Apple Music makes use of its personal Apple Lossless Audio Codec. Tidal (albeit a a lot smaller service) has MQA and is engaged on FLAC (although we’ve found Tidal’s FLAC implementation to be lacking).

Spotify says it completed the second quarter with 551 million whole month-to-month lively customers, 220 million of that are Premium subscribers.

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