Thursday 20 December 2012, 11:31 | By

Deezer launches freemium service

Digital

Deezer

After a year of undeniably rapid expansion, streaming music service Deezer has today launched a new ad-supported freemium service in 150 markets, which will offer access to the platform’s large catalogue of music for free.

Previously Deezer offered a fifteen day free trial of its premium service, and 30 second song clips beyond that, but has not previously attempted a full-on freemium offer in the Spotify mould. Unlimited free listening will be available to new users for a year, after which a two-hours-listening-per-month limit will be put in place. Throughout users will also be able to try out the full ad-free mobile-compliant premium version for a month for free.

The all-new freemium Deezer seems likely to be primarily a promotional platform through which to upsell the premium product. While Spotify initially positioned its ad-funded offer as a standalone service and, ultimately, revenue generator, in reality it has become a suck-it-and-see component through which the company can try and persuade users into upgrading to a proper subscription. And while freemium can be costly to run, it has helped Spotify grow its premium user base at a much faster rate than most of its competitors.

Confirming the launch of free-to-use Deezer in the UK, the company’s MD here, Mark Foster, told CMU: “This is an extremely exciting development for Deezer which puts us at the forefront of music discovery for all music fans in the UK. It will offer an incredibly easy to use service that encourages everyone, everywhere to enjoy music legally, to explore new music and discover new artists from across the globe”.

Deezer also announced this morning that its service now has three million paying subscribers worldwide, who each listen on average to about 60 hours of music per month. The company has also launched a new initiative called Deezer4Artists, which will make it easier for artists and labels to control their presence on the streaming platform, to upload extra bits of content, and to access analytics related to their content.

Artists will also be encouraged to use the recently launched Deezer App Studio to make their own apps for use on the Deezer platform, while plans are afoot to follow the lead of another rival, Rdio, in offering incentives to artists who help sign up new premium users.

Commenting on his firm’s latest round of announcements, Deezer CEO Axel Dauchez said: “Deezer has a proven track record of profitability and sustainability. Now we’re embarking upon the next stage in our journey towards becoming known to households around the world. Our ad-supported service is a necessary trigger to drive global change by bringing music subscription to mass audiences worldwide. Our aim here is to encourage music fans to try us, driving ad-supported service listeners to switch to paid subscription over time. Once they have properly experienced Deezer, people do not go back”.

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