Post-Spotify, could Deezer's IPO be back on?


First, Spotify successfully went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Then, yesterday, Music Week revealed that French streaming service Qobuz was considering its own IPO. So who could be next in the big digital music/stock exchange bonanza?

One obvious candidate would be another French streaming service, Deezer, which was poised to go public back in 2015, before pulling out at the last minute. But now, Deezer CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht has told Music Week about their opportunities going forward – and he’s not ruling anything out.

“We are not discounting any future options, and will consider the possibility of an IPO if and when the time is right,” he said, before adding: “At this stage, we are not pursuing an IPO.”

As Deezer mulls its options, it’s worth revisiting what happened last time around. Deezer pulled the plug on its IPO in October 2015, back when streaming’s market dominance was but a twinkle in Daniel Ek’s eye, and tech stocks were not particularly popular on Wall Street.

Deezer cited “market conditions” as the reason for its U-turn, and those conditions have now changed. As revealed in this week’s print edition of Music Week, streaming accounted for 62.7% of total UK music consumption in the UK in Q1. And Spotify’s IPO has shown technology is back in favour with City types – its shares are now trending upwards on NYSE, hitting a high of $169 on Tuesday (April 10), equal to its first day peak.

Deezer – which is shortlisted in the Music Retailer/Streaming Platform category at this year's Music Week Awards  has also transformed its financial outlook, with a controlling stake now owned by Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries. And, with the global explosion of streaming, particularly in markets previously untouched by the legal music business, Deezer – which operates in over 180 territories, more than double Spotify’s total – could be well-placed to benefit.

Whether that leads Deezer down the road to a second attempt at an IPO remains to be seen – but watch this space…

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