Deezer Outlines Expansion Plans After $130 Million Injection From Len Blavatnik's Access Industries

3:36 AM PST 10/10/2012 by Stuart Kemp

The music streaming company plans to open operations and offices across Africa, the Middle East and Asia and partner with local telecom providers.

LONDON -- French music streaming and subscription service Deezer, armed with a $130 million investment from Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, is to launch in 76 territories across the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The expansion will mean Deezer will operate in 160 countries worldwide and is able to claim to be in more territories than any other digital music provider.

Fresh territories include Senegal, Cameroon and Indonesia.

But despite the sizeable investment from Blavatnik's Access Industries, Deezer said its focus remains on "growing music markets, rather than the U.S., where customer acquisition costs are high and market conditions do not currently allow for sustainable expansion."

Deezer CEO Axel Dauchez said the $130 million injection would be used to open offices in "new and existing markets around the world," improve local service offerings, launch an international free service of the Spotify-esque company and fund product innovation.

Dauchez said: "But it’s not a case of ‘one size fits all.’ In addition to operating in 20 languages and transacting in 24 currencies, a team of professional music-lovers worldwide is dedicated to recommending the best music for each territory."

He said the local approach is "strengthened by exclusive partnerships with mobile operators in every key country, with 14 mobile telecommunications partners already in place."

Telecom partners include Orange [U.K., France, Poland, Romania, Ivory Coast, Mauritius], Deutsche Telekom, Telenor [Hungary, Montenegro, Thailand], Millicom [Honduras] and Belgacom [Belgium, Luxembourg].

Deezer, which provides software-free music discovery and subscription services, said it is profitable and currently has 2 million paid subscribers. It also said it is offering 20 million tracks and has attracted a total of seven million active monthly users who have produced 100 million playlists.

Dauchez added: "We want to take new music to musically isolated countries, breaking down the old music distribution networks.  We’re confident that by getting more people to try the service - including those not yet aware of the subscription model - Deezer will become the new way to listen to music worldwide."

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