Digital music startup Deezer debuts desktop client, premium offering

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[France] Paris-based Deezer is not waiting for Spotify to expand into new territories and is moving forward with its own plans pretty quickly. The French startup recently raised $9.5 million (€6.5 million), bringing the total invested into the company to nearly $20 million, and today the company’s launching its previously rumored premium offering and a couple of new products.

Basically, the Deezer website, where users can listen to streaming music and create playlists, will remain free of charge while users who would like better sound quality (up to 320 kb/s) and no more advertisements can opt to pay €4.99 per month for Deezer HQ. The Premium offering (€9.99 / month) is the most interesting though, since it gives users the opportunity to download a full-fledged Adobe AIR desktop application and lets them gain access to their accounts through a wide range of mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPod Touch and multiple Android-run and Blackberry devices.

The company commissioned a study that showed more than 80% of its user base was keen on getting mobile access, while 40% was interested in better sound quality. But the Premium offering in my opinion is interesting because it’s basically a way for users to have seamless access to their account and playlists whether they’re opening Deezer up in their browsers, start the cross-platform desktop client or listen to their favorite music on the go. It’s the type of convergence I keep wishing every online music service would offer.

That said, I’ve been playing around with the desktop application for a couple of hours and ran into some bugs that need to be ironed out before it’s good enough for daily usage. I also tested the iPhone application on my iPhone 3GS and that one didn’t have any noticeable flaws. The Premium offering comes with a 7-day free trial by the way, so I suggest you try it out and see if it suits your needs.

Deezer’s catalog is currently about 4.5 million tracks strong and also boasts a good number of web radio stations in a variety of genres. And since it has signed licensing agreement with all the majors (Sony BMG, EMI, Warner and Universal, among others) there’s no immediate risk of the service shutting down because of legal disputes, something we’ve seen happen far too often to date.

  • Beafstew

    New service, no new way to organize playlists. I am hoping these new services create new criteria to organize playlist by , kind of like pandora. Some very cool things are possible with that.

    These guys are creating playlists by tempo.

    • Melquiades

      Have you tried Stereomood? It really has a new way to organize music:
      every playlist suits a specific mood or activity and every playlist is user generated.

  • Ben Gladstone

    robin, it sounds very similar to spotify – what are the differences?

    • Fran

      like spotify isn’t working for italy while deezer is? not sure about other countries though.
      what i wonder about the premium access about deezer is if there will be differences about the music licensing country to country [as it is for the free access] or if the library will be the same or at least larger for the countries now experiencing limited access to songs due to labels restrictions. if i pay and then tracks disappear… no nice!

  • Justin

    Its always good to have competition. But Deezer should soon get a USP.

  • RockShock

    Any idea if premium desktop client allows to play music offline as well?

    • Jonathan Benassaya

      Yes, the Desktop works offline too.

  • UncleMatt

    What about skipping? Is the user limited? That’s the ONLY reason I haven’t signed up for Pandora’s premium service (and Slacker is too expensive). There are times during the day where Pandora just keeps throwing junk at me that the industry is clearly trying to promote. Limited skips ensures that I have to listen to the crap they throw at me. Not exactly what I consider a premium service.

    Oh… and is it me, or does Deezer seem to be priced WAAAAAY too high?

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  • bob

    It’s nice to have another competitor to Spotify. It just means a better music service for us in the end. Plus, I’d trust the French much more easily than I’d trust the Swedes. Something about chrome dome Daniel Ek creeps me out.

    • Lena

      Hey if you can trust anyone you can trust a Swede ;)

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  • Fredrik

    Interesting news. Thanks for an informative article Robin.

    shameless plug: If any independent or unsigned artist would like to get their music onto Deezer (or Spotify for that matter), Record Union would be happy to help you do this.

    And, we are Swedish ; )

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  • Lucy

    Can someone tell me if users across the globe can pay to have full access BACK and not the 10-song catalog we currently have for free?
    I’d pay to have Deezer back because I like it better than my only other choice (
    I’m in Brazil.
    So my question is: will I have to pay just because Deezer doesn’t want my money?
    Why does it matter where the money is coming from?
    I have it! It’s here! I want to pay!
    So, does Deezer have the door SHUT to my money?
    That is ALL I want to know.

    • dave

      Lucy have you tried Grooveshark? I think it works in Brazil and is a nice service.

  • vincent

    I can access the premium offering in the UK. Is it just available in France?

  • Digital music startup Deezer debuts desktop client, premium offering


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  • Julien

    It’s pure bullshit. I know anyone that is able to download tje playlists in the cache of their phones. Since it’s no more free, they should be sued for lying to paying customers !

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  • shakti

    Deezer is good website for music. it looks spotify. I think its mainly competition with grooveshark.

  • Horace Moning

    Hi i have a record label and two demo but i have no next move,what to i”am determen to get it going,warm regards.

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