It could be this year. It could be next year. That’s how Deezer CEO Axel Dauchez surmises his Frenchg subscription service’s entry into the United States.
The Paris-based Deezer has embarked on an aggressive international roll out which now sees it available in more than 180 markets. The United States and Japan – the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 recorded music markets, respectively -- are not on that list. Not yet, anyway.
Dauchez, however, was non-committal on Deezer’s U.S. plans. “The U.S. is not yet on the map. Of course, we can’t say that we don’t care about the U.S.,” he says. “We are considering the U.S. and are looking for the right strategic partner to go with. Perhaps it’ll be an established, existing big company in the U.S. which will make us significantly the biggest in the country. We don’t want to go by ourselves, invest millions of marketing and be perceived as (a medium ranked service)."
Deezer enjoyed a $130 million injection of new funding last October led by Warner Music Group owners Access Industries. That cash boost won’t fast-track the company’s move into Japan. “Japan is a very specific market. Specific enough to not decide to go there quickly. Even not decide to go there with a low profile,” Dauchez says. “It’s a huge market but you need to deliver specifically.”
Japan, however, isn't a pipe dream. "Recently we’ve been picking up signs from the telcos and the Japanese rights holders and perhaps one day we will move ahead into Japan."
Deezer now claims a licensed catalog of more than 25 million works, more than 10 million monthly users, and four million paid subscribers.