Apple is teasing a special announcement regarding Apple Music is “coming soon,” possibly referring to a new Apple Music HiFi lossless audio tier. And Apple believes it’s going to send shockwaves through the industry.
The “coming soon” tease can be seen in the Browse section of Apple Music. There is a short animation showing the Apple Music logo spinning around, getting closer and closer to the camera as it does, with multiple copies appearing as it does.
A message accompanying the video notes that users should, “Get ready – music is about to change forever.”
A high-fidelity streaming option for Apple Music has been heavily rumored for a while. Apple would be far from the first company to adopt such an option. Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service famously launched offering lossless audio options. Since then, it has been followed by the likes of Amazon, Deezer, and Qobuz. In February, Spotify said that it would be launching Spotify HiFi later this year. Apple is, therefore, not exactly innovating in this area so much as it is keeping up with options increasingly offered by its rivals.
The promise of lossless audio is, well, that it’s lossless. Lossless audio retains every details from an original recording, which should result in music that sounds better. However, this is largely dependent on how you’re listening to your audio. Just like you’re probably not going to be able to fully appreciate ultra-high resolution video if you’re watching it on a tiny phone, lossless audio sounds great — particularly if you’re listening to it on a good pair of wired headphones. Listening on Bluetooth headphones, even ones like Apple’s pricey AirPods Max, will sound good, but just not quite as good as wired headphones will sound.
Could Apple win on price?
Where Apple could innovate, however, is in the field of price. A previous report from Hits Daily Double suggested Apple Music’s high-fidelity option will cost $9.99 per month. If that’s accurate — and that seems a big if — it would mean high-fidelity audio at no increase in price from current Apple Music pricing. That would certainly be something for Apple to crow about, and to worry its competitors.
It wouldn’t be the first time Apple has made a call like this. Back in 2017, Apple introduced a 4K free upgrade for iTunes customers. It meant that customers automatically got 4K upgrades (where they existed) for previous movie and TV purchases — all without having to spend an extra penny to get them.
Would Apple Music HiFi change music “forever”? Of course not. But it would certainly be a very nice addition to Apple’s streaming music service. And, if the pricing part is correct, it could certainly be a way of striking fear into the hearts of those rivals which may then feel compelled to follow suit.
How significant would an Apple Music HiFi option be for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.