The French startup Deezer is preparing for a “decisive” battle of the music streaming in the coming months and wants to be among the handful of players to share this booming market, ensures its new Hans-Holger Albrecht boss in an interview with AFP.
“I think there will be four to five big players in the future, and that Deezer will be one of them,” said the new CEO to replace German Axel Dauchez.
Competition is increasing, while the US giant Apple should soon be out of the woods with its own streaming programs, the Swedish Spotify, number one in the world currently, has continuously invested to grow, and newcomers such as Tidal, backed by rapper Jay-Z continue to appear. The new manager, who arrived in February at the head of the company, does not want to change the Deezer strategy very dramatically.
“Apple will of course be a strong competitor, they know what they do”, but “we have a very different strategy from that of other actors,” he says. “Our product is high-level, we have been very effective in building a customer base with limited financial resources.”
Deezer has also focused on geographic expansion and has invested 180 countries. “We are present in many emerging markets, we have many partnerships with telecom operators and we have a very diverse offer,” he notes. Deezer officially announced Tuesday the integration of podcasts to its offer in France, the UK and Sweden to continue to enrich its content offering.
“We want to prove to the consumer that there are more than music on Deezer. Music is the backbone of Deezer but if you want to listen to your favorite show or sports info, you can do it. We are a platform with everything we need, “explains the manager.
Deezer made its first steps the US market last year through a partnership with Sonos, a US manufacturer of wireless audio systems. Then it acquired Stitcher, the leading US independent provider of content and podcasts, inaugurating a combined offering of both podcasts and music.
“We are adding many new features to the platform so that people find attractive and pay for access.” At this stage, Deezer has no plans to cut prices but wants to “keep its rates and adding value as information, humor, futures audiobooks, better sound quality” notes Mr. Albrecht.
While deepening its presence in its key markets, France, Germany and Britain, the start-up is continuing its strategy to build partnerships, forty to date with telecom operators, especially in emerging countries. This will entail a lot of office moves when the company grows even more and will definitely be in need of a good it relocation service provider. In these markets, “we want to develop specific products, prepaid products, which consume less bandwidth, and appropriate price,” says Hans-Holger Albrecht, who was previously CEO of the media and telecoms group Millicom, fort 50 million customers in Africa and Latin America.
Deezer will also continue to invest in technology and algorithms of recommendations for users to if they want to “rest and exactly what they like to listen” through the music choices determined by the platform according to their previous plays.
“There is nothing more personal in entertainment than music. We will not find two people with the same playlist in the world,” said the head to emphasize the difficulty of the exercise. As to add video to its offer, as if preparing to make his Spotify competitor, “not a priority”. “The video is a nice addition but it is not decisive,” he says.