Spotify ‘Platinum’ will have do a lot better than this to make me cancel Apple Music

Spotify app on a smartphone next to a pair of true wireless earbuds
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Chubo - my masterpiece)

It's been nearly two years since Spotify announced its intentions: a HiFi service within the year – which didn't happen. 

Now, it has been reported (via Reddit user u/nearlymind and others) that upon canceling their subscription to Spotify Premium, they received an email asking them to complete a survey about whether they might consider returning to the streaming service for a "Platinum" offering, at $19.99 per month (so, double the cost of Spotify Premium) which would include HiFi. 

What's the deal? Well, the story goes that if these listeners come back for Spotify Platinum in the "next 30 days" they could potentially get the following upgrades:

spotify_asked_me_to_take_a_survey_after_i from r/truespotify

According to Spotify, high-quality music streaming is consistently one of the most requested new features from its loyal users who have been limited to 320kbps for quite a lot longer than was promised. 

So how much better will HiFi be? We, er… still don't know because Spotify isn't saying yet – but it's likely to be CD-quality, something Apple Music and Amazon Music casually unveiled at no extra cost to its subscribers back in May 2021. 

Only, Apple Music went several steps better than offering its entire catalog in CD-quality for free, giving us two even higher resolution tiers at no extra cost: Lossless (up to 24-bit/48kHz) and Hi-Res Lossless (up to 24-bit/192kHz), all of which use Apple’s ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) codec. 

And that's before we even get to the Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio content, which sound even better using a set of the Cupertino giant's own new AirPods Pro 2, AirPods Max or AirPods 3 and an Apple source device for head-tracked 5.1, 7.1 or object-based immersive audio.

See how Spotify is left looking a little flat? 

Opinion: Spotify needs to do much better to make me switch

Even if the 'studio sound' and 'headphone tuner' features promised by Spotify receive further clarification, I doubt there's anything to challenge Apple Music here, because Apple's supported ecosystem is just so strong. Take Apple Music Sessions for instance: yes, the concept was Apple's response to Spotify Sessions (and hardly a subtle one at that), but frankly it's easy to see who won that race. Whether or not Spotify launches its Platinum tier, I see no promise of any Dolby Atmos-enhanced music in the above list – and double the price of its own offering and Apple Music's hi-res service is just too steep.

For me, the resolution debate is key. To explain: what Spotify is technically justified in calling 'HiFi' might not be anywhere near as good as Apple Music's Lossless offering. That is because hi-res music is specified as music files that have an equal or higher sampling frequency and/or bit depth than CD, which is specified at 16-bit/44.1kHz. Thus, CD-quality audio can be referred to as hi-fi (or lossless, if the original was recorded in CD resolution – aka no 'loss' was incurred in the recording process) but that resolution is easily beaten by Apple Music – even if you'll need wired headphones and potentially a DAC to hear it properly. 

We've seen a few other signs that Spotify HiFi is close to launch this year, including screenshots of the Spotify HiFi logo in the app as well as a Spotify HiFi onboarding video leaked by a Redditor – but I certainly won't be canceling Apple Music. 

Whether or not the information in the resubscribe email proves correct (and the email is indeed legit), if Spotify Platinum does start rolling out inside a month, Apple Music already includes everything I need and more for my $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$11.99 subscription. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the best music streaming services out there, along with Tidal – although you will have to pay for those MQA Master files… 

Ultimately, promises including "limited ad-supported podcasts" probably won't pique the interest of an average user – and I predict that Spotify Premium subscribers do not care enough about audio fidelity to double their monthly spend on music. I do care about the resolution of my music, and even I won't pay that price – because I simply believe it won't be the best deal. 

Becky Scarrott
Senior Audio Staff Writer

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.