In the competitive and saturated market of U.S. music streaming services, yet another challenger might be making its way to the country: Spotify’s main European rival, Deezer. TechCrunch reports that the Paris-based company will be launching in 2014, hopefully with leverage via a telco exclusivity partnership that will put it on a big stage for U.S. users.
Deezer’s freemium service currently has 12 million active users in 180 countries, and estimates roughly 5 million paid subscribers — not too far behind the 6 million-strong Spotify user base. The company has actually been well known for the fact that its expansion strategy has included everywhere except the U.S. and Japan, with CEO Axel Dauchez telling the Wall Street Journal last year that a U.S. expansion could only be possible if a partner could help offset the “unbelievably high” cost of entering the market. But Spotify’s success in the States may be a big enough reason to get in on the action.
As far as finding a platform to introduce Deezer to an American audience, the company is already well-versed in exclusive partnerships. French telecom company Orange is a major shareholder in the service, and has been offering Deezer free with many cellphone subscription models. But there are more options, as The Next Web reported earlier this year that the company secured a partnership with Samsung, LG and Toshiba to bring the service to Smart TVs. TechCrunch insinuated that Microsoft(s msft) may even be interested in buying the service outright to bring extra appeal to its music offerings across all of its platforms.
2014 is already shaping up to be a big year for music streaming services, as Spotify tries to make significant moves towards Japan and competitors like iTunes Radio beginning global expansion. But Deezer’s presence in the U.S. could shake up the already hyper-competitive industry clamoring for American ears.