updated 01:30 pm EST, Thu December 20, 2012
Free service restricted to two hours per month after first year
Paris-based Deezer has launched an advertising-supported version of its music streaming service in more than 150 countries. The free service comes at the same time as the company announced it has achieved 3 million paying subscribers, each of whom listen to 60 hours of music per month, as well as the introduction of a 30-day trial of its Premium+ service.
Users will be able to listen to music on an ad-supported basis unrestricted for a year, after which listeners will be encouraged to move over to a paid plan, or continue listening at no charge but with a monthly restriction of two hours of music. The 30-day trial removes the in-stream advertising, which also adds in app-based listening on mobile phones and tablets.
Deezer is also introducing real-time analytics for artists and labels to monitor music playback, certified accounts for artists, an overhaul of artist pages, and the ability for artists to upload exclusive audio content for fans to listen to. An open app development program has also been launched, which will use Deezer's Open API to allow record companies and artists to offer fans more Deezer content.
The move to offer a free version of its service comes after increased pressure in the market by competitors Rdio and Spotify, the latter of which recently demonstrated an upgraded user experience and improved music discovery, along with increased user numbers hitting 20 million globally.