The oft-criticized freemium business model still has the support of investors. Paris-based music subscription service Deezer has raised $130 million from Access Industries, parent company of Warner Music Group, and previous investor Idinvest, according to a report in French newspaper Le Figaro (via TechCrunch). The report says $32.6 million will be used to buy out previous investors. At press time, a rep for Deezer had not responded to Billboard.biz’s request for comment.
Deezer is expanding rapidly but is relatively unknown in the United States because it has avoided the world’s biggest music market. The service has the same business model as Spotify: free, ad-supported streaming for PC listening and mobile access for paying customers. It also has the familiar price points: £4.99 for basic service and £9.99 for premium service.
Business Matters: Deezer Launches in Latin America, Still Avoiding the U.S. and Japan
Deezer’s Facebook page currently claims the service has 1.5 million subscribers, 26 million users and 6 million unique visitors per month in France.
Head of international Clement Cezart told Billboard.biz last month the company first wants to expand to fast-growing markets without an abundance of legal alternatives. The service is available in countries across South America, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean in addition to Western Europe.
But Deezer won’t resist the lure of the U.S. forever. “We will come to the U.S. one day,” Cezart said. “It’s a wonderful market.”