Access Industries, the multivalent business owned by billionaire and former oligarch Len Blavatnik and the parent company to the Warner Music Group, now has control of its own streaming service: Deezer. L’Autorité de la concurrence, France's competition regulatory body, made its decision public this week after ruling on Access' move in early August. The document, reviewed by Billboard, was first sourced by Music Business Worldwide.
Access already held a 26.9 percent fully diluted share in the company, and infused the upstart platform with $100 million in funding this past January. One source suggests little will change in the near-future operation of the company, given Access' already established relationship with Deezer. The company has had difficulties launching stateside, overshadowed by competition between Apple, Spotify and Tidal (and the looming shadow of Pandora's streaming service). Whether this new arrangement will fast-track its international footprint will no doubt become clear over the next year.
While most proprietary (read: interesting) metrics -- like ownership percentages, subscriber counts and some revenue estimates -- were redacted from the document, it does have some. Deezer's annual revenue is said to be €150 million (about $169 million), and that it holds a large share, 40-50 percent, of the streaming market in its home country of France. France, with 56.8 million on the internet and 56.2 million smartphones in the country, is the world's fifth-most valuable recorded music market, according to the IFPI, generating $118.5 million in both paid and ad-supported streaming in 2015.