Deezer

Deezer

Courtesy Photo

Deezer, the Paris-based music streaming service, today announced it is expanding its high fidelity audio offerings and partnerships as well as rebranding its audiophile tier from Deezer Elite to Deezer HiFi

With Deezer's integration with Google Home, the service is now making its high fidelity available via wifi speakers which support Google Cast. Consumers can now access Deezer HiFi on Chromecast Audio or on any Chromecast built-in speaker with the use of Deezer’s mobile app. Speaker manufacturers that integrate Google Assistant will also be able to offer Deezer HiFi through voice control.

Over the next few months, Deezer HiFi will be extending its offerings to speakers by Sony, Samsung, Yamaha, Bang & Olufsen, Onkyo, Pioneer, AudioPro and Devialet through Google Cast support or through direct integration with the speaker itself.

Previously, lossless quality of FLAC (free lossless audio codec) was available exclusively through Sonos.

Consumers will also now have access to broader audio content which according to a press release includes "podcasts, live sports, audiobooks and original content."

Deezer HiFi will cost  $19.99 per month, and offer lossless capture of original analog audio source quality at 5x the bitrate at 1,411 kbps.

“With more and more consumers embracing voice activated services and a clear market for high quality audio, it is important that we are in a position to offer both to ensure the best possible experience,” said Deezer's Riad Hawa, VP of hardware partnerships, in a statement. “Through deepening our relationship with existing partners and expanding our product offering, we believe that we deliver just this."

In the last year, all three major labels and the RIAA have begun supporting hi-res audio for music streaming and Spotify is reportedly working on new tiers of hi-fi audio.

Deezer, which launched in 2007, was one of the first services to make global partnerships and is now available in 185 countries. While the service hasn't recently released its subscriber numbers, today's press release put Deezer's "active users" at 12 million, far behind music streaming market leaders Spotify and Apple Music and likely Amazon, too.

The continued rise of streaming and its growing revenues, however, have been the biggest music business news story of the last 18 months and may help all streaming boats rise. According to Nielsen Music's mid-year numbers, total on-demand audio and video streams grew a whopping 36.4 percent in the first half of 2017 rising to 284.7 billion, which is up from 208.7 billion at mid-year 2016. Of the 2017 sum, on-demand audio streams comprised 184.3 billion.