Deezer are often overlooked in the shadow of Spotify and Apple Music but they’re holding their own as a significant rival in the race to No.1 for music streaming.
Deezer have long been a sturdy player in the battle for music fans and digital listeners, especially in recent years after expanding from Europe into the US. Their most recent funding of a whopping €160 million (or $185 million) shows they are a force to be reckoned with, pushing their valuation to over €1 billion ($1.16 billion).
Deezer’s latest stats show they have over 15 million active monthly users coming to them for their all their music streaming needs. It may not be that close to Spotify’s 170+ million total users, with over 80 million paying subscribers, but their presence in Europe is significant enough that they pose an actual competition to the streaming giant. Unfortunately for Deezer they haven’t made much of an impact in the US where the streaming market was already dominated by Spotify and Apple Music.
Deezer’s recent funding comes from a round of investors including Orange, LBO France, Kingdom Holding Company, as well as Deezer’s parent company Access Industries. Their funding round also brought with it a new strategic partnership with the world’s largest Arab entertainment company, Dubai-based Rotana Group.
Deezer and Rotana Group’s agreement will see the music streaming company taking over the distribution of Rotana Group’s content through North Africa and the Middle East. Rotana’s CEO, Salem Al Hindi says that their partnership will help to put their unique catalogue of Arabic music in front of a wider global audience with high quality streaming. Deezer’s CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht says the partnership provides a unique opportunity for expanding the streaming company’s market presence.
With the US nailed down by Apple and Spotify, Deezer could look to expand their European strengths with a venture into the Middle East where Western services haven’t made an impact. They would have to go after the popular Anghami which has built a large userbase in it’s home region. Spotify are reported to be eyeing up the Middle East as well, so Deezer are wise to start making moves now if they wish to have an impact there.