Spotify may finally be ready to debut a premium HiFi audio tier

It may also expand audiobook access in the Premium tier.

John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx

Rumors about a Spotify HiFi tier have been around since at least 2017, and the company even announced plans to launch such a feature in 2021 — only to back off the next year. Now, the company may finally be ready to launch a high-fidelity plan (dubbed "Supremium" internally) that would be its most expensive tier, according to Bloomberg.

The aim would be to drive more revenue and address investor demands that it raise its prices. Spotify reportedly delayed rolling out the plan back in 2021 as two of its primary rivals, Apple Music and Amazon Music, started including the feature for no charge in their standard plans.

In addition, Spotify may enhance its regular Premium offering with expanded audiobook access, either through a certain number of free hours per month or a specific number of books (with an option to purchase more). Audiobooks are currently only available on Spotify via individual purchases.

There's no word on whether audio would be lossless at up to 24-bit and 192kHz, as it is on Apple Music and Amazon Music. Lossless audio generally doesn't work on Bluetooth speakers or headphones (including Apple's AirPods and AirPods Max), due to the high bandwidth, so users need a wired or WiFi setup.

Pricing hasn't been revealed, either. Spotify has kept its Premium plan at $9.99/month in the US, unlike Apple and Amazon, which raised their rates to $10.99. CEO Daniel Ek said in a recent earnings call that the company tries to balance subscriber growth with revenue, so pricing varies by region depending on which of those it's trying to boost. Earlier this month, the company announced that it would cut its staff by two percent, after laying off six percent of its workforce in January.