Deezer: the next music streaming giant?
Music streaming platform Deezer has quietly built a loyal following and continues to muscle in on territory currently dominated by the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. The French streaming service reportedly has 16 million monthly active users and big ambitions to take this growth much further.
How does Deezer aim to exploit a market which is still relatively new? And can they realistically expect to eat into Spotify’s share of it?
Enormous Room for Growth in Music Streaming Services
Some might think that giants like Spotify, Apple and YouTube have already claimed too great of a share of the pie, but Deezer’s commercial officer, Golan Shaked, posits in https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/ that there is still enormous room for growth.
He argues that only 200 million people subscribe to a paid music streaming service and this only represents 2.85% of the world population. Deezer already operates in more countries (180) than any other service as well as having a larger catalogue of songs, totalling over 43 million. By presenting itself as an alternative to more well-established services, therefore, Deezer believes it can entice an entirely new audience to the platform.
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The service has focused particularly on a commitment to giving indie artists a larger share of the pie – perhaps in the knowledge that it is unlikely to successfully challenge the likes of Spotify in the realm of pop superstars. It has outlined plans to switch to a new, “user-centric” payment system, as reported in https://www.rollingstone.com/pro/news/, which bases its royalty payments on the music directly listened to by subscribers rather than on a market-share based system. Deezer argues that this is fairer for artists, and in this way, it can appeal to an alternative demographic of listener who may wish to subscribe to a payment model which benefits those at the lower rungs of the ladder – as well as gain the support of independent music artists and smaller labels.
It also looks to set itself apart by promoting local musicians, which can involve focusing on regional music genres in non-English speaking areas with faster growth potential. Deezer tries to present itself as the “cooler” sibling with an emphasis on niche, local genres from Puerto Rican reggaeton to Dutch hip-hop. The company is currently the number one platform for gospel in Brazil, for example, and hopes to replicate this success with other regional sub-genres. Deezer is part of a wider movement of companies which is working towards being more in tune with their user base, an approach that sees online casino platforms leading the way – perhaps due to the intense competition in the sector. For instance, Paddy Power offers community-boosting incentives like Jackpot King at https://games.paddypower.com/c/jackpot-king. In a similar vein, Deezer’s local focus underlines a desire to build a loyal community through investment in up-and-coming musicians as well as genres with less mass appeal.
Deezer does share some similarities with other streaming services in that it is freemium software, allowing users to try the system with adverts instead of a subscription. This helps entice people who may be reluctant to immediately fork out for the service. This is also offered alongside two month free trials of the premium service.
Meanwhile, Its “flow” feature, described by Deezer as “the smartest music algorithm ever” in https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/, looks make it clear how unlike other streaming platforms it is, as it aims to curate less generic playlists which fit more suitably to the user’s actual tastes.
Deezer is trying hard to appeal to fans of different genres, such as those within dance music, and aims to grow its market share by providing a more tailored experience. Only time will tell if they can succeed.
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