Deezer has announced plans to launch a free service internationally and further global expansion in 76 countries throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The move follows $130m of investment from Warner Music parent Access Industries.
The global expansion will bring Deezer’s geographical reach to 160 countries worldwide.
The one place where Deezer is still steering clear of however, is the US, where “customer acquisition costs are high and market conditions do not currently allow for sustainable expansion”.
Hand in hand with the expansion, an international free service is to be launched, serving as a "recruitment channel" to encourage free service users to convert to paid subscription. The service will be shaped for each individual country according to the competition.
Global marketing campaigns that include involvement in local music life through events and partnerships to raise brand awareness will run alongside the international streaming site.
The remaining priorities for funding investment are as follows:
- To speed up growth by opening offices in both new and existing markets around the world, striking deals with the right partners. This reflects Deezer’s view that the switch from music ownership to usage will increase the importance of “new” music markets – both in terms of music consumption and as a source for new artists with global appeal;
- To further improve the localisation of its service including the growth of its editorial team by over 50% to provide more locally relevant content and features;
- To continuously invest in product innovation and new user experiences to make the technology powering Deezer as "cutting-edge, open and accessible as possible".
CEO Axel Dauchez commented: “We’re thrilled to be able to extend Deezer to music fans in countries such as Senegal, Cameroon and Indonesia today. But it’s not a case of ‘one size fits all’.
“In addition to operating in 20 languages and transacting in 24 currencies, a team of professional music-lovers worldwide is dedicated to recommending the best music for each territory. This local approach is strengthened by exclusive partnerships with mobile operators in every key country, with 14 mobile telecommunications partners already in place and a further six to be announced during the year Including both signed and live.”
Dauchez added: “We want to take new music to musically isolated countries, breaking down the old music distribution networks. We’re confident that by getting more people to try the service - including those not yet aware of the subscription model - Deezer will become the new way to listen to music worldwide.”
Deezer also showcased its new, personalised user experience built on people-powered music discovery. Now live on Deezer’s web-based service and mobile application, the experience focuses on editorial curation.
The service has updated its iPhone app to include a new community feature allowing music fans to follow their friends’ listening habits and share recommendations. The new features will be available to Android users in the coming weeks.