Spotify Plans New Premium Tier, Expected to Include HiFi Audio | Tech News

Spotify Plans New Premium Tier, Expected to Include HiFi Audio

Spotify Technology SA is planning a more expensive subscription option that’s expected to include high-fidelity audio in an effort to drive more revenue and placate investors who’ve been saying the company should raise its prices.

By:BLOOMBERG
| Updated on: Jun 20 2023, 23:27 IST
spotify
the new tier will be Spotify’s most expensive plan and likely offer a HiFi feature the company first announced it was working on in 2021. (REUTERS)
spotify
the new tier will be Spotify’s most expensive plan and likely offer a HiFi feature the company first announced it was working on in 2021. (REUTERS)

Spotify Technology SA is planning a more expensive subscription option that's expected to include high-fidelity audio in an effort to drive more revenue and placate investors who've been saying the company should raise its prices.

Dubbed “Supremium” internally, according to people familiar with the strategy, the new tier will be Spotify's most expensive plan and likely offer a HiFi feature the company first announced it was working on in 2021. Spotify delayed that product's rollout after two of its competitors, Apple Music and Amazon Music, began offering the feature for free as part of their standard plans. The new tier will launch this year in non-US markets first.

To augment its current “Premium” tier, Spotify will give subscribers expanded access to audiobooks, either through a specific number of hours free per month or a specific number of titles. There will be an option to purchase more. Currently, the company only sells audiobooks a la carte through its app. Spotify plans to introduce that feature in the US in October, after first launching in markets abroad.

A Spotify spokesperson declined to comment.

These changes might be enough to drive new revenue and maintain interest in a stock that has doubled so far this year to $159.99 per share. Spotify has been competing fiercely with the rival services from Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., both of which hiked their standard plans' prices by a dollar in the US to $10.99 per month in the past year. Spotify's $9.99 Premium plan, which includes access to podcasts and ad-free music listening, has remained the same in the US since the service launched stateside. The company also offers a free version with commercials.

Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek said on an earnings call earlier this year that the company balances pricing changes with the desire to grow subscribers. In 2022, the company increased prices in more than 40 markets.

“It's definitely something that we're doing, and we're looking at it as a balanced portfolio approach, where in some markets we're selectively increasing prices, because we're in a more mature place,” he said. “In some markets, we're mostly focused on growth.”

The company has been reining in costs this year in an effort to achieve profitability. It reduced staff by 6% in January and then cut an additional 2% of employees earlier this month. It also let high-profile podcast deals lapse and is looking to sublease floors in its New York City office.

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First Published Date: 20 Jun, 23:27 IST
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