French music streaming service, Deezer, has raised $186 million through new and existing investors including Saudi Kingdom Holding Company, owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and French telecom Orange pushing its worth up to $1.16 billion. Previously overshadowed by Spotify and Apple Music, the recent influx of money will enable it to expand and become serious competition to larger streaming services.
While Spotify is the dominating streaming service worldwide, Deezer is almost as popular as Spotify in Europe making it an actual threat to the streaming giant.The company has also secured a place at the top in France and Latin America.
Deezer recently signed a deal with the Arab world’s largest record label, Rotana, and will distribute its music in the Middle Eastern and North African region. The exclusive agreement will bring in new Arab subscribers giving Deezer the perfect opportunity to expand and make its presence known in the fast-growing entertainment market of the MENA region.
Larger streaming services such as Spotify haven’t made much of a mark in the Middle East but Deezer is sure to face some competition from the local service Anghami which has over 33 million subscribers making it the biggest streaming service in the region.
Although Spotify is set to expand into the Middle East, this move by Deezer raises the question of whether large multinational corporations can dominate the MENA region or will smaller local startups continue to thrive.
The Deezer app will operate a free service for its middle east users with occasional pop-up ads and shuffle play. UAE users can try the premium service for 30 days after which a charge of Dh18 per month will come into effect. Deezer also offers a family pack for 6 profiles at Dh27 a month and a special offer of the Deezer premium at Dh180 a year. The app is available on android and ios.