After a long search following the shock departure of Axel Dauchez last year, Deezer will be turning the page and starting off 2015 with a new CEO. Hans-Holger Albrecht, CEO of Swedish media and telecom group Millicom will be taking the reins of Deezer starting in February.
Having run Millicom, a company which delivers digital services in Latin America and Africa, Albrecht knows a thing or too about international expansion, something that Deezer has embraced wholeheartedly via its multi-market strategy and focus. He also used to run Sweden’s Modern Times Group, a multi-asset media company covering TV, Radio, Publishing, Production and New Media. This experience will likely be extremely useful given Deezer recent shift towards alternative forms of music content delivery as evidence by their acquisition of radio and podcast startup Stitcher.
In speaking about the acquisition, Albrecht said:
This is a company that has already built a substantial user base of 16 million people [monthly active users] in more than 180 countries. It has come a long way already and become a thriving, pioneering company that is helping to redefine the way we all discover and enjoy music.
In addition to the big CEO news, Deezer also announced the launch of a new lyrics feature which allows users to read the lyrics along with songs as they listen. The new feature has been launched in conjunction with LyricFind and is available on both their free and premium services. Given that many music-lovers can easily relate to the experience of being completely oblivious to what the words of some of their favorite songs are, this will likely be a pretty popular feature.