Deezer Manage To Raise $109m After Cancelling Their IPO

Deezer CEO Hans Holger Albrecht


Deezer cancelled their planned Initial Public Offering (IPO) in November that could have raised $400 million, but it turns out that wasn’t such a consequential decision as the France-based music streaming service have managed to raise in excess of $100 million from existing investors.

The funding was led by Warner Music Group’s parent conglomerate Access Industries and also included input from French network carrier Orange. Deezer’s CEO, Holger Albrecht, says the funding will be used for “operation and execution” of their existing services as well as investing in development and marketing across the 180 countries where Deezer is available.

Albrecht spoke to TechCrunch on the decision to raise money through an alternative process saying: “We had a discussion early in the process, and all the existing shareholders were in support of us raising €100 million. If you don’t get the valuation you want, there are shareholders who want to put in their own money rather than pushing through the IPO. It was open and transparent: ‘What do we need to proceed with our plans and our ambition?’ Was the question we asked ourselves.”

After cancelling their IPO last year due to the condition of the stock market. Deezer said at the time: “It’s better for us to wait a bit. We have money and continue to grow” adding that they were “well funded and well positioned”. That confidence clearly paid off as they’ve now raised $109 million (€100m) with no need for an IPO.

Guillaume d’Hauteville, Vice Chairman of Access Industries, spoke on why they wanted to add more funding to Deezer: “The explosion of music streaming creates a unique opportunity to build a truly personalised service for listeners. Deezer is at the leading edge of this change with a differentiated offering that emphasizes unique localised experiences. We are proud to continue to support the innovative Deezer team.”

Pierre Louette, Chief Executive Officer Delegate at Orange, also weighed in on their part saying: “Consumers everywhere are listening to music on their mobile phones, and this represents a massive opportunity for engagement and increased usage. Capitalising on this shift, Deezer has built a high-quality service, constantly improving it’s user experience with new services: Personalised radio, high-definition audio, lyrics and now the largest music catalogue in the world. (Deezer also today announced they have a catalog of 40 million songs) We’re thrilled to be investing in the music streaming market as we have always been convinced it was a tremendous opportunity to drive innovation on a global basis.”

Deezer CEO Holger Albrecht also commented on the future and potential for expansion, saying: “There are logical partnerships based on the Amazon model so there may be an opportunity for us to work together with companies like Netflix. Short term both of us are capturing momentum in own markets, but there will be movements in this area, with music and video combined. This market is just at the beginning and a lot of scenarios you can see.”

Deezer Working to Launch a Universal Windows App

Deezer are working on creating a universal app for Windows 10 and Windows mobile devices to catch up with their design on other platforms.

Deezer are getting ready to launch a preview for their Windows apps to Premium+ subscribers. According to the registration form for the preview program the app will be made available for preview users in “the next few weeks”.

There is currently already an app available on the Windows Store  however lacks the fluid and aesthetically nicer design that Deezer have introduced to their desktop version and other mobile operating systems. In particular Deezer’s Flow feature which creates a playlist as you play it based on your listening history and tracks that you have favourited, lick personalised radioplay.

With an app that features almost universally the same design across all platforms it will create a much more focused look and feature set that should solidify the music streaming service. This will also enhance cross-platform use for those who access Deezer on multiple platforms as the service will be recognisable on any device.

If you’re a Premium+ subscriber of Deezer you can apply for the preview program. Here’s what Deezer’s Microsoft team say:

Thanks for your interest in our Windows 10 preview. We’re full-speed creating a new Universal Windows app for Windows 10 Phones , Tablets and PCs. We will rollout a first preview to our Premium+ users only in the next few weeks.

To be a part of Deezer’s new Windows app preview head to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jY84P9TmsAh-8YCPN-reFo16oXPKaLXtW1o3vip0N-s/viewform?c=0&w=1

Deezer’s iPhone App Updated For CarPlay

Deezer have updated their iOS app to work with CarPlay so you can listen to all your favourite music on the road.

CarPlay uses built-in dashboards on modern cars to make using your iPhone for calls, messages and music simple and easily accessible. Now you can use Deezer on carplay with the newest update for their iOS app.

Using Deezer on CarPlay you can listen to all of your favourite songs, albums, artists, and playlists, choose a Mix channel based on your mood, use Flow to discover new music and hear your favourites, and access your music in offline mode. With Flow, an autoplay radio based on your music tastes, you can like or dislike songs easily on the CarPlay player. Every time you like or dislike a track Flow improves its suggestions.

CarPlay-Mix

Chief Content and Product Officer at Deezer, Alexander Holland, said: “With Deezer on CarPlay, Premium+ and Elite listeners have even greater flexibility and ease to listen to all their favourite songs through CarPlay in a way that allows you to keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Listeners can now access Deezer’s 35 Million music catalogue seamlessly wherever they are.”

CarPlay - Like

Last month Deezer were introduced to BMW’s ConnectedDrive so that you could stream Deezer on the go in certain BMW cars. Deezer are perhaps tapping a market as yet unexplored massively, music streaming in cars.

The update for CarPlay support is available for free on the Apple App Store and is compatible with iOS 7.1 or higher.

Deezer Reimagines 2015s Music Icons in Comic Book Form

Music Streaming Service Deezer have worked with a comic illustrator to create ‘The Deezer Annual”.

Deezer have worked with a renowned illustrator for comic books, Brian Williamson, to create a collection of limited edition art pieces representing high-profile figures in the music world of 2015. The limited edition pieces are available to buy and will raise money for War Child, a charity dedicated to protecting children caught up in wars.

Brian Williamson said of the project: “I’ve worked on some of the most iconic comic books and characters in the world, but it’s clear that the music landscape provides just as much drama as some of the richest fictional worlds.”

The illustrations feature such iconic moments as Madonna falling off stage, Dave Grohl breaking his leg mid-performance and Drake dancing in the Hotline Bling video with a lightsaber. Deezer’s UK and Ireland music editor, Sam Lee said: “2015 has been a great year for fans of music, but arguably even a better year of fans of drama and headlines. Kanye loomed large over everything that happened – despite him not actually releasing a new album this year – We can’t wait to see what in store for next year!” (sic)


 

Here are the illustrations for the Deezer Annual 2015:

Zayne GB
“Zayn quits One Direction, breaking millions of girl’s hearts across the globe. His departure saw streaming data for One Direction fans increase by 55% globally.”

Bieber GB“Justin Bieber redeems himself with global smash hit ‘What Do You Mean?‘ In fact, every single song from his Purpose album charted in the UK Top 100 – beating the record set by The Beatles.”

Madonna GB“Madonna falls off stage during a live BRITS performance.”

Grohl GB“Dave Grohl breaks his leg mid-performance, but still finishes the show.”

Taylor vs Nicki“Nicky (sic) Minaj and Taylor Swift are embroiled in a Twitter tantrum over the MTV VMAs nominations.”

Drake GB“Drake triggers a million memes with the release of Hotline Bling. His global streams increased by 218% after the video dropped.”

Rihanna GB“Rihanna causes controversy with her violent and graphic B**** Better Have My Money!

Weeknd GB reedit“The Weeknd prove that a numb face isn’t solely derived from a wild Saturday night after their hit becomes the global summer anthem. Their daily streaming ‘peak’ was reached on October 3rd, 2015.”
(We’re not sure why Deezer refer to The Weeknd as a group either)

Sia GB“Shirtless Shia LaBeouf shocks fans as he wrestles a tiny girl in Sia’s Elastic Heart.”

Kanye GB“Kanye West experiences the bitter taste of Karma, after his headline Glastonbury slot is upstaged by prankster Lee Nelson. It didn’t affect his streaming success however, as his UK listening figures spiked 66%.”


 

On their blog post Deezer talk about how to get your hands on copies of the illustrations as well as talking a bit about War Child:

Fans will have the opportunity to win the inaugural illustration of each design by placing an online bid at http://deezer.auction-bid.org. All money raised through the auction will go directly to War Child – an international charity that helps children whose lives have been torn apart by wars in areas including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic. They are protecting children from the brutal effects of conflict and helping them rebuild their lives through education, counselling and skills training.

War Child CEO, Rob Williams commented: “The international music community has been exceptionally good to us as a charity for over 20 years, with support from artists as varied as Sir Paul McCartney, Muse, Amy Winehouse and The Killers – and we’re now happy to welcome Deezer to the fold. Today, War Child’s work has never been more vital. Children are suffering from the brutal effects of conflict around the world and they are in desperate need of protection and education. Anyone who bids for one of these unique comic illustrations is enabling War Child to give these children the support they need to rebuild their lives.”

Deezer Redesign Their Android App for 2016

Deezer have updated their Android app with a redesign and some new features to make it more akin to their design on other platforms.

Deezer’s updated app comes with a completely new aesthetic, disposing of the Google-based design for Google’s mobile OS Android. In an attempt to create a streamlined look Deezer’s Android app will now display their service in a similar style to their design on all other platforms.

First of all the homepage, which does away with Google’s hamburger menu design in favour of a 4-sectioned tab at the top to easily navigate through the app. The first tab is ‘HOME’ where you can view all your personalised mixes and instantly play any of them. Deezer say themselves: “Discovering new sounds has never been easier.”

Deezer updated Android app homepage

The second section is ‘MY MUSIC’ which is where you can find all of your favourite music on one page. Navigation is easier but so is Flow which you can open instantly with a blue play-button at the top of your music. Users can now create a record shelf to make organising music in playlists and favourites easier than ever. The next two sections are ‘NOTIFICATIONS’ and ‘SEARCH’.

Deezer Android app my music

Deezer’s Vice President of Product Alexandre Croiseaux and Head of Product Design Vincent Elgrishi spoke about the update and redesign on Deezer’s announcement post.

Why redesign the Android App?

Vincent: Our main goal is for you to dive into the music you love and discover new songs everyday. Our aim is to build a better music experience and conform to the design standards of Google apps. Our mission is to unite performance and quality. In order to make that happen we have to start by listening to what users have to say, what they want and what they expect from us. We have to keep it simple and logical, but it’s actually not as easy as it sounds.

What are the main changes?

Vincent: The improved app, allows you to enjoy music more quickly and easily. You can access your music collection instantly, find your listening history and browse music faster than before.

How can the user benefit from these changes?

Vincent: We’ve boosted the user’s Flow significantly, improved interactions and therefore enhanced the overall experience. We’ve also improved the way we present artist pages, albums and playlists on Deezer.

What was the overall feedback regarding user experience?

Alexandre: We created several focus groups around the new Android app to understand our users and work out how they could access their favourite music more easily with the new app. After gathering the feedback from our users and after several discussions regarding the new version, we finally reached a point where the app began registering very satisfying results by testers.

Vincent: We met with many users and gathered a fair amount of input before designing the new app. This led to the redesign of the navigation options. We then asked the users to test the beta version. It took a while as we had to go through a lot of testing to make sure we were designing an app capable of meeting all of the users’ demands. So far users are very happy with the new app, we are now working to improve it by introducing new features.

How do the changes help users find their favourite music on Deezer?

Alexandre: An efficient and clear tab bar has replaced the burger menu so that users can quickly switch from one tab to another i.e. Discovery/Favourites/Search. We’ve created a listening experience which makes sure that whatever mood you’re in, you can easily discover new talents or stick to the tunes you love.

How does this set you apart from your competitors?

Alexandre: The new app aims to get to know the users’ tastes to make their experience as personalised as possible. Thanks to Flow and the listener’s custom mixes, unlimited music tailored to the user’s taste is just a tap away. Deezer helps you find all the music you love, just simply lean back and enjoy. If you’re a heavy music consumer, you can also create your own virtual record shelf by organizing your music into playlists and managing your favourite tracks. This app aims to cater for demands of every user while remaining easy to use.

What are your long term goals for this change?

Alexandre: We are already working on new amazing features that will adapt perfectly to the new app. Stay tuned.

Vincent: That’s the fun part of designing Deezer, it’s a constant work in progress, we keep improving the apps as technology evolves. For example, we are in the midst of designing new features that should be available very soon.

Why did Android app update take longer than iOS?

Alexandre: Whilst fully revamping the app, we had to stick to the Android design specs. Meaning each and every page had to be changed. We also took advantage of the situation to optimize the app code and include new features. We decided to launch the transformed app all in one go unlike the iPhone app, which was rolled out gradually over several months.

Vincent: The new Deezer Android app required more work than the iOS app. We had to rebuild it from scratch, meaning it took a bit more time to get it out there.

 

 

Pope Francis Releases His Prog-Rock Album First on Deezer

It’s official – the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, is a Deezer geezer.

Pope Francis has released his long awaited “prog-rock” album and, until it’s official release today, had it streaming exclusively on Deezer. Additionally the Pope also has a lifetime subscription to Deezer’s Premium+ service, for unlimited music streaming in the Vatican.

“Pope Francis: Wake Up!” is the title of the album which features 11 tracks of antiphons featuring a mix of (sort of) rock guitar mixed with choral synths. The album is being promoted as “sacred hymns, re-imagined by contemporary composers and musicians with Pope Francis’ voice, while he recites in four different languages excerpts of the most significant speeches he has made”.

On the album the Pope speaks different segments in Italian, Spanish, English and Portuguese. Issues covered through the Pope’s recitals include peace, the environment, family and charity.

The disappointing factor of the album is that the Pope doesn’t actually sing, or provide anything musical at all really. But it’s still fairly groundbreaking to see the Pope involved in such an endeavour, not to mention his use of digital music streaming services, a still contemporary form of distributing and accessing music.

You can listen to ‘Wake Up!’ by Pope Francis on most if not all streaming services right now or purchase the physical release from various retailers.

What do you think of the Pope’s musical venture? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Deezer Add New Features With 20,000 New Radio Shows and Podcasts

Deezer respond to the announcement that Google are bringing podcasts to Google Play Music by adding 20,000 more.

Yesterday Google Play Music revealed that they will be adding podcasts to their music streaming service over the next few months. Deezer, who already had a library of roughly 20,000 podcasts and radio shows, have today announced that they have doubled their offering.

Amongst the selection of new material are programs from talkSPORT, Bayerischer Rundfunk, France 24 and Braincast from Western Europe and Latin America. This isn’t the only news for Deezer though as today they expanded their service into Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Colombia making Deezer available in almost 200 countries.

It doesn’t end there though as the music streaming company also announced that it is adding new features to it’s News & Entertainment section on their app to enhance the podcast listening experience. Features include offline listening for Premium+ members, the ability to create and manage playlists of podcast episodes as well as the ability for users to share their favourite podcasts easily with friends through social media or the service itself.

Chief content and product officer at Deezer, Alexander Holland, said: “Users today want more than just music. They want to be entertained, informed and discover new content to match their individual taste. We are meeting the needs of our listeners with an on-demand audio service that covers the best in news, entertainment and sport programming.”

This all comes just after Deezer cancelled an upcoming IPO they had planned, citing the conditions of the market as their reason for calling it off. With all these new announcements though we can assume that Deezer is still on track and constantly looking to expand it’s service and bring in more users.

The new features are being rolled out today onto all Deezer platforms.

 

Searching Music On Deezer Easier Than Ever With Hashtags

Deezer have just implemented a new feature into their search function that makes it easier than ever to find the music that fits your mood. Yesterday they announced that they have added the ability to search with hashtags in the Deezer Search Field.

Using hashtags, rather than searching for a specific artist or track you can use keywords that are tagged to all the music that fits under that bracket. So say you’re in the mood for reliving some of the disco scene, just type into the search bar #disco. Can’t stand the post-disco of the 80’s? Narrow it down further with an extra hashtag, for example #70s.

Using Deezer’s new hashtag functions you can search for a range of music, by genre or decade, that specifically suits what you’re looking for. Rather than a generated playlist for a genre, you can see all the music available that has been tagged under that genre, showing you the most popular artists, songs, albums and playlists. You will also be provided with recommended tags to combine yours with, allowing you to explore different elements of a genre/decade without knowing anything about it.

There is even the potential for music discovery when you search for music using Tags. For example two genres that you would never think to go together, could come up with some interesting results. Have you listened to country-metal before? No? Well nows your chance to get discovering!

hashtags on deezer

 

Discover some new music in your favourite genre, or discover the top music of a decade at www.deezer.com for free.

 

Deezer Integrate Live Football Feeds For UK and Germany

Deezer have introduced live football commentary and podcasts for Bundesliga, Premier League and FA cup matches for football fans in the UK and Germany. Users can now keep score of games directly through Deezer’s apps and webpage. Deezer will also be host to match fixtures and results, football-centric music playlists and more from their specialist football editors.

With the success of streaming services reaching their peak this year services like Spotify and Deezer have been working hard on expanding their roster of features. Deezer’s latest move promises to appeal to the millions of football supporters in the two countries.

At the moment podcasts are only available in the UK for the Premier League and FA cup whilst the other features are available in both the UK and Germany. There is no news yet whether Deezer plan to expand this new feature to other countries and football leagues.

Deezer have been expanding their service outside of music streaming since last October when they acquired Stitcher the podcast and radio aggregator. Deezer insists that it’s focus still lies in music even as it expands into other territories.

Christian Harris, Deezer’s UK managing director said in a statement to International Business Times: “Deezer, as a business and a brand, has a conviction to broaden the portfolio of content that we offer. Stitcher was the first step. Football was the second.”

The new football feature can be found in the apps section of Deezer’s sidebar. It is available to all Deezer users, with ads for free users and without for Premium users in the UK and Germany from www.deezer.com/app/football.