How Deezer plans to compete
How Deezer, the French music streaming service, plans to win against Spotify, Apple and Amazon.
12:04 26 September 2017
Billionaire investor Len Blavatnikis is sinking tens of millions of euros into local music as it finds its way to beat Spotify, Apple and Amazon. From Brazilian gospel to Puerto Rican reggaeton and Dutch hip-hop, the company is scouring the globe for gaps in the market where it can survive and thrive.
Realising that its chances of success going toe-to-toe with its biggest rivals is very slim at best, it focuses on local music genres in fast-growing (mostly non-English language) market where it believes it will win. It is targeting local listeners but is also looking to position itself as a “cool”, non-mainstream alternative for a global audience.
Deezer chief executive Hans-Holger Albrecht said they are targeting specific markets in Latin America, Asia and Africa where Spotify was not already predominant. They include Guatemala, Bolivia, Paraguay, Colombia, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.
He said: “I strongly believe in the localisation of content. While Spotify is mainly playlist-focused, we are betting on local differentiation, and this has helped us become number one in gospel in Brazil.”
Mark Mulligan, an analyst with technology research company MIDIA, said the fact billionaire investor Len Blavatnik controlled major music label Warner Music and other industry assets gives Deezer an advantage.
“Blavatnik has a card to play,” he added. “An efficient way to compete against integrated tech giants like Apple and Amazon would be to combine Deezer, Warner Music and all the other concert and artists management firms he owns to build a full-stack music powerhouse.”
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