According to music industry publication Hits Daily Double and its sources within music labels, Apple is planning on bringing a paid HiFi streaming service to Apple Music in the near future (via 9to5Mac).
Hits Daily Double says the service will be announced alongside the launch of the third-generation AirPods, which the publication believes will take place in the coming weeks (at WWDC 2021 in June, possibly?).
The rumoured high-fidelity audio streaming service will be available for the same $9.99 USD per month. The new HiFi music tier will put Apple Music back in contention with Spotify, which announced its own HiFi tier back in February.
A HiFi streaming tier for Apple Music could bring lossless, higher-quality reproduction of music that would even surpass Apple’s ‘Digital Masters’ program, under which “about 75% of of the Top 100 in the U.S. and 71% of the Top 100 globally” are recorded for high-quality streaming on the platform.
If there is any substance to these rumours, we could see Apple Music with a HiFi tier as early as iOS 14.6, which is currently on beta 2 but does not contain any evidence of the new streaming tier.
As for the third-generation AirPods, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo originally believed that they’d launch sometime in the first half of 2021, but said in March that they won’t go into mass production until Q3 2021.