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Spotify readying launch of lossless Hi-Fi streaming option

on March 01, 2017, 4:01pm

Spotify appears to be readying the launch of a new lossless audio version of its music streaming service. As of yesterday, users have been receiving test offers for Spotify Hi-Fi, a pricing tier with “lossless CD quality audio” on top of Spotify Premium’s features.

As The Verge points out, the offers look like A/B price trials as Spotify figures out how much to charge for the new tier. A small group of users have seen offers advertising Spotify Hi-Fi for $5, $7.50, or $10 above the $9.99 cost of Spotify Premium. As the below image shows, some of the ads indicate Hi-Fi will also include a free vinyl record and discounts on vinyl purchases.

However, a source for The Verge and a number of Reddit posters note that attempting to actually click “Upgrade” results in an error message. It’s likely Hi-Fi won’t actually become available until Spotify has settled on a price point.

The move to add a new streaming tier makes sense for two reasons. First, it gives Spotify a product that directly competes with TIDAL HiFi, a lossless FLAC-based service TIDAL has offered since its inception. Second, Spotify has never seen a profitable year, and the added revenue could help that finally change.

There’s no word yet on when a wider launch can be expected. When Verge reached out for a comment, a Spotify spokesperson said, “We are always testing new products and offers but have no news to share at this time.”

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