Behind Deezer’s plan to capture Asia Pacific’s ‘healthy competitive market’ for music streaming

Deezer is expanding in Indonesia via a deal with Hutchison 3

Deezer last week announced an extension of its major deal with Hutchison 3, launching its partnership in Indonesia for the first time.

The Paris-headquartered business has been in Asia Pacific for a considerable amount of time but new partnerships are helping it deepen its footprint into the mobile-first region.

Following the announcement for the partnership, Daud I. Aditirto, vice president Asia Pacific, Deezer, told The Drum that Deezer’s strategy was highly localised. Deezer has Chinese opera music on its platform, for example.

“It’s a healthy competitive landscape in Asia as 56% of digital music revenue comes from music streaming and in 2015, over 22 mobile providers had a partnership with a music streaming service. Since competition is tough, Deezer takes a very localised approach with local content, artists and playlists, and offers a more personalised experience through Flow, as well as selecting the right partners at the right price points so that we can play a key role in growing music streaming as a business in APAC,” said Aditirto.

The opportunity has not been lost on competitor Spotify either, which continues to invest in the region, alongside many mobile platforms such as WeChat and Line that also offer music streaming services.

According to Aditirto, Indonesia specifically offered a good opportunity, buoyed also by its existing relationship with Hutchison 3 in other markets in Europe.

“Indonesia as a market is a great opportunity for us, both as a growing digital market in APAC, with 84% consumers consuming digital vs 11% physical (according to IFPI), and in terms of market size. We have a huge opportunity to broaden our audience. Deezer has already been available for consumers in Indonesia since 2012, but we wanted to offer music lovers an even easier way to stream music with our exclusive partnership with Hutchison 3, expanding our partnership outside of Europe where we already have existing 3 partnerships in UK, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden,” he explained.

In terms of broadening the audience beyond its existing users in Indonesia, he said that it’d be partly about capturing the 50% of Indonesians that already listen to music on their mobile phones and giving the flexibility to use Deezer.

“Our new partnership with Hutchison 3 will give consumers the flexibility and freedom to match their on-the-go lifestyle and listen to all their favorite music whenever and wherever on Deezer, especially Flow, the most personal soundtrack that uses smart data and algorithm that knows exactly what you want to hear. In addition, for Hutchison 3 customers, we’re offering a special promotional offer where users can sign up for 3 months worth of Deezer Premium+ for the price of one. As the business-side builds up, we will be building out partner networks, running co-marketing campaigns, work closely with labels and local artists and roll out global activations such as Deezer NEXT - a global program dedicated to develop and support emerging artists on a global scale. In its second year, we will be announcing a new global artist in addition to local artists from different markets around the world,” said Aditirto.

In terms of how it fits into its wider strategy for Asia Pacific, he said that the partnership approach made sense as it allows the service to scale but in a localised way.

“We don’t believe in a one size fits all strategy. We want to continue to take a localised approach that fits the individual markets within APAC. It’s about recognising the different challenges and opportunities regarding connectivity, pricing and partnerships. We have a strong local team in place which will enable us to deliver the right proposition. For example, in Indonesia, we announced an exclusive partnership with Hutchison 3, while in Japan, we recently launched the first HiFi offering, because we know there is a big interest in FLAC audio lossless and there are more future plans coming up for more markets in in APAC,” he said.

The Japanese market will be a key focus for Deezer, according to Aditirto, but both Singapore and Indonesia would also be a focus, particularly around the roll out of FLAC, and added “we do not currently plan on launching in every market.”

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