Yesterday the team over at the Deezer Paris Headquarters posted a video of them “doing the Harlem Shake.” The video, which is based off of this original video, which was uploaded at the beginning of the month and has since gone viral, accumulating over 7M views. While Deezer’s version may not be as good as the original – though one commentator pointed out hilariously that there is a Velib (a publicly available bike in Paris) that roles through the office halfway through - it does certainly touch on one important point: Deezer is paying attention, and they are staying up to date.
We pointed out at the beginning of the year that Deezer saw a larger % growth in paid users than Spotify did, and given that they just launched in 22 more markets a few weeks ago, I think the battle is about to come full swing. Deezer was late to the game on internationalization, as most French startups have been historically; however, their ability to capitalize on the French market and use it as a launch pad, something which Spotify couldn’t do in its home country of Sweden, may be the key to its success. While Deezer cannot survive on the French market alone, its strong home market presence and connection to Telecom giant Orange (invested in Deezer at an 11% stake a few years back, which was likely diluted in Deezer’s most recent round) will prove vital in maintaining a competitive positioning in Europe.
I’ve already noted that this battle will not be about the Music, or even the player, but I believe the ability to get developers developing apps on their API, to provide more value to their catalogue than there is before. You may argue that Deezer’s interface isn’t as sexy as Spotify’s, but i’d argue they are more or less equivalent products, and that what will bring users away from one and towards the other will be an outsanding product built on one of the platforms, which will make all the difference in the value-added of that one service. The question then becomes, is Deezer up to date enough to woo Developers to their platform?
Now do the Harlem Shake.