Deezer nabs Spotify exec in bid to extend global reach

Deezer nabs Spotify exec in bid to extend global reach

Deezer’s on-going bid to ramp up its international profile continues with the appointment of former Spotify executive Riad Hawa as VP of its global hardware partnerships division.

The appointment comes just two week after French competition authorities have cleared a proposal that would give Access Industries "exclusive control" over Deezer.

The decision, outlined in an 11-page document from June 24, but only made public this week, follows a January 12, 2016 deal which saw Access Industries, the umbrella company of London-based Ukrainian-born American billionaire Len Blavatnik, take the lead in a financial round that injected $100 million in Deezer.

Hawa’s role will include developing the company’s hardware proposition through partnering with key organisations that operate in the hardware space. Additional responsibilities include developing retail opportunities and assisting the team in delivering a robust model that can be rolled out at an international level.

With more than 10 years’ experience in consumer electronics and content distribution, Hawa has held a number of senior roles in companies such as Universal Music, Acer and Sony Electronics. His most recent position at Spotify saw him bridging the gap between hardware and the content industries with a view to driving innovation and new thinking. Specific projects that delivered against this included the launch of the first e-Reader in Europe to the first voice controlled experience for Spotify with Amazon Echo.

“I am over the moon to be joining Deezer at a time when the music streaming market is ripe for change,” said Hawa. “This could come in the form of new innovation, building strategic partnerships with like-minded brands or investment in creative marketing strategies – the opportunities are endless.”

Gerrit Schumann, Deezer’s chief international officer, added: “We are delighted that Riad has decided to join the Deezer team and are excited about the value that he will bring to the business. I have no doubt that with him on board we will continue to see this company go from strength to strength.”

Last week, Deezer rolled out a new family streaming package, offering family’s full Premium+ access for £14.99 per month.

The new service allows up to six family members to create their own individual accounts, where each user can personalise their own ‘Flow’, create playlists and highlight their favourite tracks.

The new Family Mix services creates a playlist designed to cater for the tastes of each family member, while Deezer Kids features content designed for young children, from nursery rhymes to kid-friendly hits. Each family member can use up to two devices per profile, with a total of 13 devices allowed on the plan.

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