Warner Music daddy chucks €130m at Spotify rival Deezer
Access Industries will invest €130m in the Gallic Spotify-rival Deezer. The music streaming service has been a hit in its native France and launched in the UK a year ago – with rather less impact.
The big record labels are major investors in Spotify, with Universal Music rarely missing an opportunity to talk it up. The Swedish music-streaming outfit resembles Symbian in its structure; it's essentially a jointly owned industry R&D venture in all but name. And although the labels' aggregate equity stake in the venture is smaller than that of the mobile vendors in Symbian, it can't operate without the music shops' catalogues.
Evidently, Spotify's success in a Universal-dominated industry concerns Warner's owner, following the green light given to the Universal-EMI merger by regulators in Europe and the USA. Warner was always the most ambivalent of the (then) Big Four (now Three) major record labels about streaming services. In 2010 Warner vowed to withdraw its catalogue from Spotify, We7 and last.fm.
Deezer has vowed to launch in every territory except the USA and Japan – leaving Spotify to scrap it out with rivals such as Pandora and Rdio.
Billboard magazine describes it as a Coke/Pepsi race - which is not a bad description.
Like Spotify, Deezer offers ad-free streaming for £4.99 and caching to a PC or mobile device for £9.99. And like Spotify, new sign-ups need a Facebook account. ®