Deezer, a French music streaming service, is looking to finally invade the U.S. and is seeking a partner to help infiltrate the lucrative market.
Deezer is available in 160 countries at the moment. Normally, it gives users two hours a month of free, ad-supported streaming music.
Then it offers music buffs plans ranging from about £7 to £10 in the U.K. (about U.S. $9 to $12), and $7.50 to $14.50 in Australia. But no U.S. prices have been announced yet.
The tidbit of information comes in an interview with Deezer's CEO Axel Dauchez, published in the Wall Street Journal today.
"We are looking for a partner in the U.S., maybe an operator or a blue-chip company, that is able to provide us with a significant volume of subscribers," He told the WSJ.
In the interview, Dauchez said the company started shopping around for partners months ago.
He said the cost to enter the U.S. music streaming market is "unbelievably high," and is one of the most competitive markets on the planet.
Only a year ago, Deezer's U.K. Managing Director, Mark Foster, told TechRadar that the expensive barrier to entry prevented it from touching down on American shores.
"Never say never. But for the foreseeable future, it's not part of our plans," Foster said.
But after a year, it seems things have changed. Deezer is ready to enter the melee of the U.S. music market, with the right partner.
If Deezer does hit the U.S., Spotify will be one of its biggest challenges to overcome.
Though Spotify only operates in 17 countries, it's attracted 5 million subscribers compared to Deezer's 3 million members. But if Deezer is to topple the king of American music streaming, it might have to up its game.
Spotify offers 10 free hours of ad-supported streaming music before users hit a pay wall. That dwarfs Deezer's two hours of free music. But Deezer has a few tricks up its sleeve.
To lure customers away from Spotify, the Franco music streamer offers promotional trails, which gives users free rein of Deezer and unlimited streaming for a limited period.
But that is only in areas where its rival operates. And the trial will still be backed by advertisements.
But Spotify isn't the only music distributor to worry about. There's still the popular web radio site, Pandora, and the MP3 selling behemoth, iTunes.
With these opponent, Deezer has a steep uphill battle ahead of it, which makes picking the proper ally all the more important. However, CEO Dauchez didn't hint about any potential friends, or when Deezer might move forward with its plans to enter the U.S. market.
Via the Verge