SPOTIFY GOES HIFI, BARACK & BRUCE BOW

In a wide-ranging 2/22 presentation dubbed Stream On, Spotify rolled out a blueprint detailing its plans for the coming year. The big reveal included an enhanced-audio option cleverly branded HiFi, an expansion into 80+ additional markets and a new Barack Obama/Bruce Springsteen podcast series.

By the time Spotify joins the high-fidelity community later this year, it will have expanded into new markets in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America, bringing its potential reach to 1 billion listeners. Following the expansion, the streaming platform will be in more than 170 territories. See the full list of new markets here.

While he had our attention, CEO/Co-Founder Daniel Ek took the opportunity to announce that the company paid out $5 billion in royalties during the 2020 calendar year.

Among the speakers and artists featured in the big-budget presentation: Spotify co-heads of Music Marian Dicus and Jeremy Erlich (pictured at right), COO Dawn Ostroff, Halsey, Khalid, J. Balvin, BLACKPINK and The Kid LAROI. Justin Bieber closed out the event with an AR-assisted concert, complete with a live band.

A video segment featured Billie Eilish and her producer/brother, FINNEAS, who offered, “Anytime anyone takes the time to sit down with our music and really listen to it in a high-quality setting, it’s exciting, because I know they’re hearing everything we intended them to.”

Beginning later this year, Spotify Premium subscribers in select markets will be able to upgrade their sound quality to Spotify HiFi, which will deliver music in what’s promised to be CD-quality, lossless audio. The streamery is working with several speaker manufacturers to make Spotify HiFi accessible to as many listeners as possible through Spotify Connect. Learn more about HiFi here.

That same day, Spotify released the first two of eight episodes of the podcast Renegades: Born in the USA, boasting conversations between the 44th President and The Boss.


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