Deezer is a web-based music streaming service. It allows users to listen to music content from record labels including EMI, Sony, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group on various devices online or offline. Created in Paris, France, Deezer currently has 40 million licensed tracks[5] in its library, over 30,000 radio channels, 16 million monthly active users, and 5 million paid subscribers as of 6 November 2013.[6] The service is available for Web, Android, Kindle Fire HDX, OS X, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone and Symbian.

History

In 2006, Daniel Marhely developed the first version of Deezer, called Blogmusik, in Paris. Its idea was to give unlimited access to music lovers through streaming technology.

The site in its original incarnation was charged with copyright infringement by French agency SACEM, and after being shut down in April 2007[8] was relaunched as Deezer in August, having reached an agreement with SACEM to pay copyright holders with revenue from advertising on the site[10] and by giving users the ability to download songs streamed on Deezer from iTunes, with Deezer receiving a commission from each purchase.[8]

Launch

At the time of its launch in 2007, Deezer had not yet negotiated agreements with major music labels and therefore offered a limited catalogue.[8] It took more than two years for agreements to be signed with the four largest labels, as well as various smaller ones, but by 2011 the company had rights to about eight million songs.[8] During August 2007, its first month of operations, Deezer saw about 773,000 visitors to its site, with traffic increasing rapidly in the next several years—2.75 million people used the service in May 2008, and there were seven million users by December 2009.[8]

Despite high traffic, Deezer almost immediately ran into financial problems—during the first half of 2008, the company saw revenue of just 875,000 euros, not enough to pay its licensing fees.[8] In July 2008, the company began running ads itself through advertising agency Deezer Media; in October, Deezer secured $8.4 million in funding from AGF Private Equity and CM-CIC Capital Prive, bringing total investment in the company to $15.8 million.[11] The company introduced mandatory registration in February 2009 to gather more precise data on users, in order to run more targeted ads, and in November 2009 began running audio ads between songs.[8]

On 5 November 2009, Deezer launched a new three-tier service model. While continuing basic free web streaming, the company also introduced two subscription services—users paying €4.99 monthly received higher-quality music without ads, and users paying €9.99 monthly gained access to downloadable applications for computers, as well as Android, BlackBerry, and iOS mobile devices.[13]

In January 2010, the company's CEO and co-founder, Jonathan Benassaya, was replaced as CEO by Axel Dauchez, after fewer than 15,000 of Deezer's 12 million users signed up for its subscription services.[15] In August 2010, mobile operator Orange partnered with Deezer in a deal to include free access to Deezer Premium, the highest tier of Deezer's streaming packages, with some of Orange's telecommunications contracts in France.[17] Almost immediately after the partnership began, the rate of users signing up for Deezer's premium services went from 6,000 a month to 100,000; by January 2011, 500,000 people were subscribing to the service, with the million-subscriber mark reached in the middle of 2011, half a year ahead of schedule.[8] The two companies expanded their partnership in September 2011 to include Orange contract customers in the United Kingdom.[19] Also in September, Deezer added Facebook integration to its service, allowing users to send music to one another via that social media service.[21]

Expansion to more countries

Deezer was launched in France in 2007. On 7 December 2011, Deezer, at the time available only in Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, announced plans to expand worldwide during the rest of 2011 and continuing into 2012.[22] According to the company, it planned to make its services available to the whole of Europe by the end of the year, to the Americas (excluding the United States) by the end of January 2012, to Africa and Southeast Asia by the end of February, and the rest of the world (excluding Japan) by the end of June.[22]

It took until 15 March 2012 for service to be available across the whole of Europe,[23] while service launched in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand on 25 April.[24] On 8 June, Deezer announced availability in 35 Latin American countries, though not in Brazil, Cuba, or Venezuela.[25] On 15 August, Deezer announced it would be available in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand within several weeks.[26]

On 8 October 2012, Deezer announced that it had received $130 million in funding from Access Industries, to be used for further international expansion.[11] Two days later, the company announced that it had expanded into 76 new markets, bringing its worldwide total to 160 countries.[27] On 21 December, Deezer announced a new service level offering two hours of free, ad-supported music streaming a month, available to users worldwide, the company's first free music streaming service outside France.[28] CEO Dauchez said that Deezer was also looking for a partner to introduce service in the United States, who was "able to provide us with a significant volume of subscribers" to help offset what he called the "unbelievably high" costs of entering the US market.[28]

As of December 2012, Deezer had about three million users paying for subscriptions, out of a monthly active user base of about seven million, with 20 million songs in its library.[29] By 2016, according to CEO Dauchez, the company aimed to have five percent of the global music market.[29]

In January 2013, Deezer announced its expansion into 22 new countries across Africa, Asia, Brazil, the Middle East, and the United States, bringing its total to 182.[30][31] However, the United States launch has been restricted to a limited number of device promotions.[32] In July 2016, Deezer added US to the supported country list.[33] As of July 2016, Deezer listed on its website 187 countries where the service was available.[34]

After expansion

Following this expansion, Deezer announced in 2013 partnerships with LG, Samsung, and Toshiba that saw Deezer apps made available on smart TV platforms,[35] along with a new brand identity developed in association with the illustrator mcbess.[36]

Since then, Deezer has made a number of announcements, including its Developer Reward Scheme, mobile App Studio, and API upgrades,[37] a new, exclusive beta version of its mobile app for Android users,[38] and the new Deezer app for Windows 8.[39]

April 2013 also saw Deezer update its iOS app with a new smart caching feature, allowing the app to identify and remember a user's most played tracks, even in areas of poor network coverage.[40]

In April 2014, Deezer added a new feature known as "Flow". "Flow" takes one's existing music library and combines it with their past streams, for non-stop music tailored just for the user. Deezer also updated its mobile application to allow free mobile streaming for everyone, regardless what subscription plan one subscribed to on Deezer.

In April 2014, Deezer announced that its current CEO, Dauchez, would be leaving the company in September, "to pursue a new professional opportunity". The announcement also noted that Deezer’s U.S. CEO, Tyler Goldman, was joining the company’s management team composed of founder Marhely, COO Christopher Coonen, and board chairman Didier Bench. The company also announced that they aimed to launch Deezer in the US in 2014.

In June 2014, Deezer announced a new partnership with Samsung giving Samsung Galaxy S5 users in Europe a free, six months Deezer Premium+ subscription. Later on, Samsung and Deezer extended their partnership by offering a six-month, free of charge subscription to Deezer Premium+ for Samsung's Multiroom Wireless Audio Products, including its M5 and M7 line of Multiroom wireless audio speakers.

In June 2014, Deezer and Google announced that the Google Chromecast would be supporting Deezer's Android and iPhone apps to allow users to stream music from their phone to their televisions through the Chromecast. Chromecast support became available to Deezer Premium+ users from 25 June 2014 onwards in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

In September 2014, Deezer announced Deezer Elite, a new exclusive service made for and in partnership with Sonos. Deezer Elite provides CD quality audio to U.S. users of Sonos Hi-Fi Systems. The service will be available to worldwide to Sonos users of Deezer only.[41] It should be noted that Deezer Elite "High-Resolution Audio" is lossless CD quality (16bit/44.1 kHz) and not "Hi-Res" or High-resolution audio. Sonos does not support Hi-Res (24/96, 24/192 or similar) streaming.

In October 2014, Deezer rolled out a new user interface for its website player. This new change in design was widely welcomed by numerous users.[42]

In October 2014, Deezer announced that Bose SoundTouch and SoundLink products would now be supported for Deezer Premium+ service. This partnership will first be rolled out in the U.S. and then will be available to worldwide users.[43]

In October 2014, Deezer announced that Stitcher Radio would be merging into Deezer. By 2015, Deezer users would be able to use Stitcher Radio features within Deezer.[44]

In December 2014, Deezer and Pepsi announced a partnership to set up the Midem Artist Accelerator to support managers and labels as they grow the profiles of their artists.[45][46]In June 2016, it sold Stitcher to E.W. Scripps Company for $4.5 million[47]

Last.fm integration

In January 2012, Last.fm announced that Deezer would integrate with Last.fm, allowing users to send songs from Deezer to their Last.fm account and "scrobble" them.[48]

Accounts and subscriptions

As of September 2014 there are three Deezer account types.[49] All subscriptions feature unlimited track playing and support for mobile devices. The Discovery tier only has access to the Playlist/Artist Mix and Flow features.

SubscriptionPriceAdsSkipping and ScrubbingOffline ModeTV, HiFi, and Car SupportGoogle Chromecast SupportAudio Quality (kbit/s)
DiscoveryFreeAd-SupportedSix Skips per Hour, No ScrubbingUnavailableUnavailableUnavailableMP3 Quality (128 kbit/s)
Premium+$9.99/month, €9.99/month; 15-day free trialNoneUnlimited Skips and ScrubbingAvailableAvailableAvailableMP3 Quality (320 kbit/s)
Elite€14.99/monthNoneUnlimited Skips and ScrubbingAvailable only on Sonos systemsUnavailable; Supported only on Sonos systemsUnavailableCD Quality (1,411 kbit/s; 16/44.1 kHz)

Available devices

Deezer is available via:

Concerns over Android application

The "Deezer Music" Android app asks for permissions such as "read sensitive log data", "retrieve running apps", "delete apps", and "power device on or off", which has raised concerns over user privacy.[50]