The music streaming industry is at ‘tipping point’ claims Deezer’s VP for Europe
The music streaming industry is still in its growth stage, although people still buying CDs will soon see that the industry provides extra benefits of streaming music “without losing the legacy,” Gerrit Schumann, VP of Europe at Deezer, has claimed. Speaking to The Drum on the day that rumours circulated that Apple is set to buy Beats Electronics, which includes streaming music service Beats Music, Schumann said that over the past few years, streaming products have gone from being used by early adopters only to being a “very hot segment”. Having joined the company last year from a music sharing background, having co-founded of Simfy, Schumann claimed that the sector was at the ‘tipping point’, and that those who still believe in listening to music on CDs would discover that music streaming platforms such as Deezer “see benefit without losing the legacy”. The beauty of Deezer for users, he said, was that “it's all about music how they want it. It gives you the music you want to hear and takes it a bit further to discover the unexpected.” Schumann added that both advertising and subscriber models of music streaming was the future, and added that “It will win the heart of the consumer and change the way that music is marketed.” From a one-time purchase, there is now the opportunity to monetise music across its lifespan, as well as the ability to listen to music in new ways. If Apple does acquire Beats Music, it will soon see another competitor in the US, as Deezer is set to launch in America later this year, and while a date has not yet been confirmed, Schumann said that the move comes as the company is “confident that we can differentiate from our competitors”. Revealing why it took so long for the company to break into the American market place, Schumann explained: “We wanted to do it right. The US is such a big market, there is so much opportunity we want to make sure that we have the right methods, the right products, and we now feel we really have one of the best products for the market and a unique, very personalised, experience.” He also told The Drum that as part of its launch in the US, the music streaming company would see deals with several telcos. In its current markets, Deezer has partnerships with over 20 companies, most recently Shazam. Partners, according to Schumann, help the company tap into a new consumer sector, with the partnership with Shazam described as ‘seamless’. “it really enhances the Shazam experience…it’s a great overlap," he continued. The company has previously penned deals with BBC iPlayer, as well as with Samsung, to allow use on smart TVs, and BMW, to allow use in cars. Being able to provide an experience across all channels is important in the current market, Schumann admits, while pointing out that 75 per cent listen to music on more than one device. However, it won’t all be about listening to music on smartphones: there has been a growth in vinyl sales. This isn’t a major threat to the Deezer market though, Schumann believes: “I wouldn’t necessarily drive a classic car to work every day, it’s just for special occasions, and that’s what vinyl is. People will have 90 per cent of their music from streaming, and then you’ll have the fan products that will complement that.” Research conducted by research group ICM ahead of Record Store Day on 19 April 2014 discovered that 57 per cent of the people surveyed had bought a CD in the past year.