Spotify might be about to make a huge blunder with its Apple Music lossless rival

(Image credit: Spotify)

There have been rumors of Spotify HiFi floating around for years now, with some members of its leadership seemingly confirming its existence. The Verge recently discovered that the service has been 'good to go for nearly a year', but its release was pushed back after Apple released Apple Music Lossless for no extra cost for users.

Talking to the Co-president, Gustav Söderström, The Verge has done some reading between the lines, connecting that Spotify was planning to make users pay extra for Spotify HiFi, along with other benefits like Spatial Audio/Dolby Atmos and 'other perks related to audiobooks and podcasts'.

Paying extra for Spotify

Lossless streaming has become ever bigger in recent years, with the launch of Tidal and Apple Music Lossless. There are other more niche streaming platforms as well, such as Qobuz, and even Amazon has put its hat in the ring with Amazon Music unlimited. Spotify, one of the biggest streaming platforms in the world, has also announced its entry into the lossless streaming game, with Spotify Hi-Fi. That, however, was two years ago, with nary a sign of its release since then.

Now, in that Verge interview, Söderström has confirmed that the service will be coming, but not when. And if The Verge is to be believed, then it looks like we could be paying extra for the privilege of those higher bit rate tracks.

This would put Spotify on the back foot against its competitors, with Apple Music offering its lossless tracks at no extra charge for its users. That costs the same $9.99 per month, and you get all the lossless music on the platform. The only service, in fact, that charges more for its highest bitrates is Tidal but those are specifically recorded masters that will set you back $19.99 per month. It's not likely that Spotify will charge that, but it does set a precedent.

The thing then is that Tidal is for a different audience, an audience that wants the best. It's unlikely that audience would go back to Spotify, even if it did introduce lossless streaming for less than Tidal HiFi Plus. If they were going to leave Tidal behind, they'd have gone for Apple Music and its lower price tag. Either way, if you want to get lossless audio on one of Apple's best iPhones, your best bet is with Apple Music.

Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.