‘Old Idea, New Execution’: Deezer’s ‘Free’ Radio Promise

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It may not be much of a household name as Spotify or Pandora or even iHeartRadio, but Deezer is very much a global streaming audio player.


Now, it is promising smartphone users across the United Kingdom 30,000 “free radio stations” from across the globe via an app. What’s the message for AM and FM radio, both in North America and in Great Britain?

In January 2016, Deezer made headlines after it successfully raised more than $100 million in a new round of funding. In August 2018, a $185 million funding round was completed.

The funding went toward the continuation of international growth and adding more products and music to its service.

Now, Deezer is making good on that promise in a noteworthy way, some 2 1/2 years after its domestic launch.

As reported in Digital Music News, a new app exclusively for Britons, “Radio by Deezer,” is being pitched as a commercial-free option to Global, BBC or Bauer Media offerings on DAB or traditional radio. “Every radio station on the app is served up without any ads aside from the radio ads themselves,” the publication notes, meaning that audio streams will not have ad replacement technology or “pre-roll,” something seen on iHeartRadio in the U.S.

TuneIn also widely uses “pre-roll” before it accesses a radio station stream.

The app, DMN notes, “is designed much like Deezer’s main app. You can like any song playing on a Deezer radio station, and the song will be added to your favorite tracks list within the app. Those songs can then be transferred to the My Music section of the Deezer app.”

A worldwide release is anticipated.

Deezer CEO Hands-Holger Albrecht recently said that Deezer had achieved 7 million monthly active subscribers.

The company has thus far made small, controlled moves to expand in the U.S. over time. That includes acquiring podcasting platform Stitcher and adding that content onto the Deezer platform. Stitcher was sold to Scripps in 2016.