Deezer may be avoiding the US market, but Spotify is starving French users

Mar 20, 2013
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The war between Deezer and Spotify has begun, and it seems there’s no country that’s safe. Spotify announced earlier this week that they would be removing the five-play cap per song for free users in the UK; however, it was Numerama that figured out that, with Spain, Finland, Norway, The Netherlands and Sweden having had this limit lifted earlier this year, this leaves France as the only country left with this cap.

Obviously, Spotify is not going to try to fight Deezer in France; even if they are winning globally, Deezer’s got 100 Million euros and the home-field advantage, but that doesn’t mean they have to be particularly nice to the French market. These days, I’m a Spotify user; I bounce back and forth on free trials because I want to see how the seemingly identical services are evolving. Deezer’s recent move to show 3rd party mobile apps in its Mobile a la Facebook was, I think, a nice move, and may be the breaking point for me, and a turning point in how developers look at Deezer v. Spotfiy.

Just yesterday at LeMobile, I spoke with the guys from eDJing, and presented them with the Best Mobile App award. With nearly 4 million users, I talked with them about their plans to integrate with Spotify – after all, they wouldn’t avoid one platform over another – and they told me that they wouldn’t be integrated with Spotify because “Spotify doesn’t want to.” What that means in reality is that Spotify isn’t letting 3rd party mobile apps access their music catalog via API, which I think is a huge mistake, as, what ultimately made Facebook an essential part of the ecosystem was its extensive Facebook Connect API – once they were on 1000 sites & 1000 apps, it was clear they weren’t going anywhere.

While I’m still waiting patiently for Deezer to attack the US market – clearly right now isn’t the best idea, as they’re still fighting to catch up to Spotify – I’d at least like to see Spotify lift this silly 5-cap limit on France: not because it’s a feature that matters, but because it sends a message to the French tech community and any French Spotify users that they are less important than users in any other country.