European music streaming service Deezer is expanding to Asia. It’s announced that it will roll out in Thailand this week, with Singapore and Malaysia to follow shortly. In addition, Indonesia and the Philippines are expected “within the coming weeks”.
Of note, its Thailand launch is in partnership with dTac, one of the region’s leading telecommunications operators. This sees Deezer replicate a model it’s tried elsewhere which has already seen it partner with telcos Orange, T-Mobile and Belgacom in Europe. Competitor Spotify has tried similar telco tie-ups but doesn’t appear to be pursuing these quite so aggressively. It’s also yet to launch in Asia, although the hiring of ex-Googler, Dan Brody, as Spotify’s General Manager Asia-Pacific, nearly a year ago, suggests it still has plans to do so.
Deezer offers more than 18 million tracks for streaming through dedicated apps for iOS, Android, and Blackberry, along with a browser-based version that plays well with laptops and tablets, and support for various wireless Hi-Fi speakers. It also has an open API where developers can build apps based on Deezer’s features.
To state the obvious, the opportunity and challenge in Asia is pretty huge as the music industry struggles to wean users off of music piracy in the region. But conversely, smartphone penetration and high speed broadband availability in some parts of the region is extremely high too. Therefore, the idea of music being accessible anytime and on any device via the cloud is particularly tangible in lots of parts of Asia, as is the appetite.
One thing is clear, too. For a European tech company, Deezer really is thinking global. After today, it now claims a presence in 91 territories worldwide. That said, it’s yet to launch in the U.S., and apparently has no plans to do so.