Verge editor claims Spotify HiFi has been ready for over a year

“Apple and Amazon broke the financial incentive, which made Spotify rethink everything,” Chris Welch said in a recent tweet.

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Spotify’s long-awaited HiFi service has been ready for more than a year, claims The Verge’s Chris Welch, who recently spoke to Spotify’s Co-President Gustav Söderström in an interview.

Welch tweeted yesterday that “Spotify HiFi has basically been ready to go for over a year” and that “employees have access to it.”

With technical work “largely complete” and the platform’s entire song catalogue re-ingested in lossless (per The Verge), all that’s left is for Spotify to green light the feature – a decision which had to be re-worked because “Apple and Amazon broke the financial incentive,” claims Welch.

Announced in early 2021, HiFi promised to bring listeners streaming at CD-quality audio (resolutions upwards of 44.1kHz/16-bit) and was intended as an add-on to Spotify premium. But those plans were thwarted when just a few months later, both Apple Music and Amazon each announced its versions of lossless streaming, plus spatial audio support and more at no extra cost.

And now, two years down the road, the service has yet to materialise.

Speaking to The Verge, Spotify Co-President Gustav Söderström commented that “the industry changed for a bunch of reasons” after the feature was announced.

“We are going to do it, but we’re going to do it in a way where it makes sense for us and for our listeners. The industry changed and we had to adapt.”

When the publication pressed for more details, Söderstöm added: “We want to do it in a way where it works for us from a cost perspective as well. I’m not allowed to comment on our label agreements, nor on what other players in the industry did, for obvious reasons.”

In the meantime, Spotify has made several other significant plays, including its expansion into podcasts and audiobooks, the addition of AI-based personalisation, and most recently, TikTok-like scrolling.

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