The Spotify HiFi dream is still alive, as platform plans to do something “unique” someday

No one can blame you if you've given up on Spotify HiFi ever becoming a thing. It’s been two years since the initial announcement. However, all hope is not lost as the streaming service recently confirmed that it’s still working on the high-res audio tier.

This news comes from Spotify co-president Gustav Söderström who sat down for an interview on TheVerge’s podcast, Decoder. Confirming HiFi’s existence was pretty much the only straight answer he gave as the rest of the responses were vague at best. According to Söderström, the reason why the tier is taking so long is that the “industry changed and [Spotify] had to adapt”, but doesn’t elaborate any further. He does hint at the cost of HiFi and deals with music labels as being two major factors to the delay, and again, doesn't elaborate any further.

Söderström goes on to say Spotify wants to do something “unique” with HiFi and not “unnecessarily commoditize” itself by “[doing] what everyone else does”. When asked about an expected launch date and support for spatial audio, Söderström remained tight-lipped. There will be a “Spotify HiFi lossless-type experience at some point” in the future, however, that’s all the co-president was willing to divulge.

Söderström’s comment on needing to adapt to a changing industry is arguably the most telling in that whole exchange because it’s emblematic of the company’s recent moves. Pinning the delay of Spotify HiFi on not wanting to copy other platforms is rather ironic if you think about it. For starters, the streaming service is currently rolling out a redesign for its mobile app taking clear inspiration from TikTok. It now sports a vertical discovery feed as a way to encourage people to check out the latest songs or popular podcasts. You even have Spotify incorporating tech from OpenAI in its new DJ feature to simulate a real-life radio DJ. While these additions are great and everything, do users really want the TikTok experience and generative AI? From what we’ve seen, not really.

It appears the platform is more interested in growing its media library over providing HiFi. Spotify has grown its podcast content exponentially alongside real-time transcriptions. Also, the audiobook feed has a new preview feature where users can listen to a book for five minutes before purchasing. All this and still no high-res audio, at least any time soon. We asked Spotify if it could tell us more about its HiFi tier – anything at all. This story will be updated at a later time.

If you want to get high-res audio, there’s a way to do it with the right set of devices. Be sure to check out TechRadar’s guide on how to buy into high-res audio without the high prices

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Google wants to help you set up a unique online store

Google's Area 120 incubator has launched a new website builder and ecommerce platform called Qaya which is now available in beta in the US.

According to a new blog post, co-founder and GM of Qaya, Nathaniel Naddaff-Hafrey came up with the idea while working from home during the pandemic after spending time with creators who said it was difficult and time consuming to build an online business around their content.

This led to the creation of a new product called Qaya which provides web storefronts for creators that want to sell products and services directly to their audiences.

The company has a small and agile team that believes creators are the next generation of entrepreneurs. As the CEOs of their own businesses, they require the same commercial tools as any successful founder.

Building your creator businesses

Qaya first began live testing its new service in early 2021 and since that time, the company has learned a lot from the creators on its platform, their fans and other creator economy projects.

Creators on Qaya can sell everything from workout guides to photo filters, productivity templates, knitting patterns and more. The company currently supports both pay-gated and free products with new features like tipping, subscriptions and other monetization types coming soon.

By signing up for Qaya, creators can use the service as the hub for all of their business activity across the web. Many link to their storefronts from their social media bios and showcase digital products they upload or products and services hosted on other sites. The company provides all of its users with a custom or domain with payment functionality built-in.

At the same time though, Qaya has also developed customer management and analytics tools that creators can use to connect with their fans and understand sales and content performance. The company has also started to integrate with other Google products including YouTube's Merch Shelf and eligible YouTube creators can now promote products from Qaya directly below videos on their YouTube channels.

Qaya is currently in beta in the US though the company hopes to expand to other countries soon.

We've also highlighted the best web hosting, best ecommerce hosting and best website builder

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