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Spotify launches higher-priced subscription tier for HiFi audio

The new premium subscription tier is the streaming platform’s most expensive yet

  • 14 June 2024
Spotify launches higher-priced subscription tier for HiFi audio

Spotify has launched a new premium subscription tier for HiFi audio – the streaming platform’s most expensive yet.

The new subscription band was unveiled by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek in April and looks to target Spotify’s “most dedicated” users and music fans with a “music-only” tier.

It comes alongside the addition of several new subscription tiers, including audiobook and music-only, according to Music Business Worldwide.

The new, higher-priced HiFi tier will cost at least £5 more a month on top of the premium subscription service, Bloomberg reports. The platform’s premium tier is also increasing in price by £1 a month to £11.99.

Read this next: Spotify’s former licensing head claims the streaming service “deprives” artists of royalties

Spotify’s new price increases come just weeks after CEO Daniel Ek claimed on Twitter that the cost of creating “content” (or music) is “close to zero” in the modern world.

His comments garnered widespread backlash from fans and artists across the world, many of whom referred to the high costs of creating music, including equipment costs, studio time, rehearsal spaces, mixing, mastering and travel.

Spotify currently pays artists just $0.003-$0.005 per stream. In November, the streaming platform announced that it would change its royalties structure, with reports claiming it could pay less royalties to less-popular artists.

According to Music Business Worldwide, non-profit organisation The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) filed a lawsuit in May against Spotify US alleging that the streaming giant is underpaying royalties now that it has changed its subscription plans.

Read this next: Spotify has officially demonetised all tracks under 1,000 streams

The new HiFi audio tier will be Spotify’s most expensive yet and will be available “in select markets” as an add-on to current subscription tiers. The new HiFi feature was first unveiled in 2021 but has since been delayed in its rollout.

Since it was first announced, Spotify competitors including Amazon Music and Apple Music have added high-fidelity audio options as part of their standard subscription plans at no additional cost.

In May, Ex-Global Head of Publisher Licensing at Spotify, Adam Parness, wrote in a column for Billboard that Spotify’s new “bundled subscription” is an “ill-informed attempt to deprive songwriters and music publishers of their rightfully earned U.S. mechanical royalties.”

“This is a respectful appeal to the company, specifically its senior leadership team, to do the right thing by songwriters, regardless of what strategies they appear to believe are legally permissible,” he said.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

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