Spotify's new merch hub is just another thing that Apple Music doesn't offer

Spotify merch hub
(Image credit: Spotify, iMore)

Spotify almost has it all. Podcasts. Audio Books. An AI DJ that speaks to you. Sharable playlists, and even more on top. Now it’s made one of its ‘all-in-one’ music app features even better — there’s a new merch hub on each act's page where you can search for your favorite artist's t-shirts, vinyl, and more within the app. Previously the app connected with the band's store itself, but now it can all be bought directly from Spotify.

It’s just another feature that Apple Music doesn’t have, as Apple’s services remain disparate and separated across several apps.

There is one thing, however, that Apple Music has over the Swedish green circle: Hi-res streaming.

Spotify, where’s our hi-fi tier?

Spotify has been pumping out new feature after new feature in recent months, from the aforementioned AI DJ that some love and some utterly despise, to the addition of a few hours of audiobooks to your premium subscription. This new merch hub is more of an iteration of an existing feature, but it's another notch in Spotify’s quill over the competition.

Yet still, we remain without that all-important hi-res streaming. It’s a feature that every other streaming platform offer, with Amazon's ‘Music Unlimited’ filled with hi-fi tracks, and the likes of Qobuz and Tidal are focused on it. Crucially, Apple has it in Apple Music for no extra charge — something it looks like won’t be said for Spotify.

We are assured that Spotify hi-fi is coming, although there are rumors that it will only come on an extra, even more premium subscription plan. Going up against Tidal alone, this might work, given how expensive the Jay-Z-backed streaming service is, but when the likes of Amazon and Apple give you hi-res tracks for free, it could be seen as a bad move.

Perhaps Spotify will add more features to its hi-fi tier, like podcast exclusives and more hours of audiobooks. Until then, however, we remain without any hi-res streaming on Spotify — but at least we can buy our favorite merch from the Spotify merch hub.

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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.