Published on January 30th, 2013 | by Lewis Parker
The state of streaming
The rivalry between the world’s music-streaming giants has intensified.
Deezer vs Spotify
French company Deezer has recently broken through into 22 emerging markets. After bagging $180m in fresh capital last year, Deezer has expanded to South Korea, Hong Kong, Algeria, South Africa – 128 countries in total.
But the popular streaming service, which allows users to subscribe for a small fee or listen for free with ads, isn’t available in the US, China or India. Its rival Spotify still cleans up there, and will likely do so for the foreseeable future. Spotify also boasts nearly double the amount of paying subscribers: five million compared with three million.
Deezer is hoping to get ahead by gaining first-mover advantage in these emerging markets, where Spotify has yet to place a footprint. With the introduction of new apps for mobile devices, Deezer is tailoring its service to users who are increasingly accessing the web through mobile devices.
But both companies could be steamrolled by the emergence of Muve Music, a US service tailored especially for downloading tracks to mobile devices – its own mobile devices. Not only does it make all its users pay for the service – unlike Spotify and Deezer, most of whose users are free subscribers – it avoids computers altogether.
Billed as ‘the first complete music experience created for a mobile phone’, its makers Cricket Media supply the handset, the software and the payment plan.
Despite only being available on Cricket’s own handsets, Muve Music already has 1.1 million subscribers in the US less than two years after its launch. In 12 months time it expects to have two million subscribers, all paying, because they’re locked into the bundle of other services such as calls and web access.
Its rivals have reasons to be fearful, as the headlines it has generated have taken a combative tone. “Hey, Spotify! Muve Music passes 1.1 million subscribers in US,” screamed Billboard. “If inexpensive mobile bundling is the future, be very afraid of Muve Music,” warned Digital Music News.
Meanwhile, Rhapsody have attempted to corner the vehicular-access market by tailoring their service to users who want to stream music in transit. It will soon announce its integration into Ford’s Sync Applink, which enables drivers to stream music easily in their cars.