Warner becomes a major investor in the music streaming site
Deezer has confirmed rumors surfacing during the weekend that it has seen a $130 million, €100 million investment to spur further growth. The money comes from Warner Music Group's parent company, Access Industries, as well as previous investor Idinvest.Rumors say some of the money is being used to buy out previous investors. France Telecom (Orange) is not participating in this new round, hinting that its previous big plans for the music streaming service have been dialed down, if not canceled altogether.
Having Warner as part owner, a major one at that, could be an interesting new development for Deezer, but it's unlikely it's going to be a good one.
Major music labels don't have a history of doing great online or even encouraging music startups.
Spotify has been the poster child for online, on-demand streaming and it's still the best known name. It's also the largest site of its kind.
There have been plenty of competitors but few have managed to get any traction and some have already been acquired or shut down.
Deezer though is rarely mentioned, even though it's the largest site of its kind based on the number of countries it's available in.
The big reason why it's rarely mentioned is that it's a French company and, worse yet, it's not available in the US. In fact, that was its core strategy, Deezer managed to expand everywhere else in the world by avoiding the US, making licensing negotiations a lot simpler.
It seems to be paying off, to some degree, as the site is announcing some encouraging figures, along with a major new investment.
Deezer says it now has two million paid subscribers, still fewer than Spotify, but significantly more than any other on-demand service.
It's got seven million active users each month, it says, which is impressive since its free offering isn't that beefy, you get a two-week trial and then just 30-second clips of the music it hosts after that.