Tidal can keep Lemonade, Deezer wants its original content to be more like Serial

Deezer’s Head of Content explains how the company plans on combating timed exclusives

While other companies are looking to lockdown exclusives a lá Beyoncé’s Lemonade or Drake’s Views, Deezer wants its original content to be totally different. 

Its target, Deezer’s Roman Tagoe says, is to focus less on securing high-profile album drops and more on producing its own set of serialized talk shows like Serial, among other ideas. 

Tagoe, Deezer’s Head of Content and Editorial in the UK, explained that his vision for the burgeoning streaming service is to create “TV-like serialized experiences” that have episodes and seasons. Some of the content Deezer will create, he says, will take the form of shorter, five to 10-minute snippets, while others could be half-hour affairs. 

“Deezer wants to create the sort of content that old school radio can't make or is too afraid to,” Tagoe says. “We're not looking at this as a traditional podcast plan either - we're developing a range of creative audio ideas that can range from ongoing, serial documentary formats to short-form daily hits and anything in between.” 

It’s Tagoe’s plan – and Deezer’s in general – to bring this content to the masses, not only in its home territory in France, but to other European nations like Germany, Austria and the UK, and eventually export them overseas to the US and Latin America. 

It’s a plan that the company has already started in its home country with a radio documentary following the rise and fall of French rock idols Téléphone called “On the road with Les Insus” that it plans on debuting in January, and “Balls Up" - a five part part comedy podcast around the European Football Championships in the summer. 

But that’s just the beginning for Deezer. Tagoe tells us that the service will eventually broaden its scope to include talk shows, more documentaries, commentated playlists and other “disruptive concepts” that he feels will feel right at home on the streaming music service. 

“As well as music, we'll have comedy, lifestyle and sports programming that are perhaps not such a natural fit for other streaming services,” he says. “We know our audience is interested in a diverse selection of audio content ... and the response to the shows we've already launched has given us great guidance on where to go creatively.”

Deezer’s move to use different formats to differentiate itself is an important one – even moreso now considering its recent launch into the overcrowded US streaming market where the largest services like Tidal and Pandora struggle to maintain their positions. 

If Deezer could create the next Serial – one of the most successful podcast of all time with well over 5 million downloads – Tagoe's strategy of chasing new audio formats might be the key to catching up to the two streaming kings, Spotify and Apple Music.