Music streaming giant Spotify is reportedly planning to launch a new, more expensive subscription plan later this year, named “Supremium” internally. The new offering would include high-fidelity (Hi-Fi) audio and increased access to audiobooks, aimed at bolstering revenue and appeasing investors seeking a price increase.
Hi-Fi Audio Coming to Spotify’s Platform
Spotify first announced its intention to bring Hi-Fi audio to the platform in 2021 but faced delays in implementation, likely due to licensing and competitive pressures. However, according to Bloomberg, the company now plans to introduce lossless audio streaming through the new “Supremium” tier later this year. The feature was initially known as “Spotify HiFi” when announced in February 2021 but has undergone some changes since then.
Last year, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek hinted that licensing issues were behind the delay in launching the hi-fi tier. Apple Music and Amazon Prime Music have already introduced support for lossless music without any additional costs, potentially influencing Spotify’s decision-making on how to roll out their Hi-Fi audio offering.
Pricing for the New “Supremium” Tier
Bloomberg reports that the higher-priced plan could first roll out in non-U.S. markets. Spotify is discussing launching the “Supremium” plan in the U.S. in October, subject to success in other markets.
Spotify previously surveyed users about a potential “Platinum tier” subscription priced at $19.99 per month, including features like hi-fi music, headphone tuners, limited ad-supported podcast listening, and additional playlist management capabilities for users’ libraries.
While the pricing of the new “Supremium” tier remains unconfirmed, it is expected to exceed the current Premium plan’s $9.99 monthly subscription rate in response to price hikes from rival music streaming services. Apple Music increased its subscription fees from $9.99 to $10.99 per month, and Amazon made a similar change to its Amazon Music Unlimited personal plan.
Expansion of Audiobook Offerings
Spotify is also considering bundling access to audiobooks with the new “Supremium” tier and the current Premium tier from October. Access could come in the form of a specific number of hours or titles available for free listening, providing added value to subscribers. Spotify already offers audiobooks on an individual basis but aims to increase user engagement and satisfaction by making them more accessible.
Outlook for Spotify’s Subscription Growth
As of Q1 2023, Spotify boasts over 500 million monthly active users and more than 210 million premium subscribers. The addition of the “Supremium” tier may not significantly impact subscriber numbers, but it should enhance average revenue per user and cater to those interested in accessing lossless music streaming on the platform.
Despite reports from Bloomberg regarding the company’s plans, a spokesperson for Spotify stated that they don’t comment on speculation around possible new features and have nothing new to share at this time.