Music streaming site Deezer to launch in 100 countries

Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:05am EDT
 
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By Leila Abboud

PARIS (Reuters) - French on-line music streaming service Deezer will launch in more than 100 countries in the coming weeks, and the start-up is negotiating with roughly a dozen telecom operators on partnerships in a bid to expand its global reach.

Chief Executive Axel Dauchez told Reuters on Tuesday that Deezer's approach differed from its rivals, such as U.S.-based Pandora and Sweden's Spotify, because it had decided to avoid the U.S. market because of the high costs and intense competition involved.

Instead he said Deezer will soon launch in a slew of other places overlooked by its rivals, including Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico and Brazil.

"The minute that I tell the major music labels that I am not interested in signing for rights to the U.S., the negotiations over terms become much much easier," Dauchez said in an interview.

"Instead we aim to sign global licensing deals, without the U.S. or Japan, so we can roll out in dozens of countries quickly."

It's a risky strategy given that the music business generates the lions' share of revenues and profits in the United States.

The U.S. has also been at the forefront of deep changes in the music business as giants like Universal Music and EMI try to survive despite rampant online piracy, and Apple continues to be a powerful force a decade after opening its online music store iTunes.

Today a crop of streaming websites like Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify and Lastfm.com are also jostling to convince American users to sign up for their free and paying services.   Continued...