EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Thomas Heymann, Managing Director – Deezer Australia and NZ
TMV’s Jakomi Mathews caught up with newly appointed Managing Director of Deezer Australia and New Zealand Thomas Heymann. Thomas to his credit provided us with some upfront and realistic answers on critical questions around the number or streaming services in these markets and more…
1). Firstly congratulations on your new role as Managing Director of Deezer Australia and New Zealand. What is Deezer’s key differentiator in comparison to other music streaming services?
Thank you. Our difference is the unique combination of: 18 million tracks, a worldwide community of 1.5 million paying subscribers, Facebook integration, deep editorial content, web access and no annoying ads whilst delivering you high quality streams with album artwork. On the business side, what sets us apart is our expertise of successfully working with Telcos in each market we have launched. Our service is developed by music fans for music fans.
2). Deezer has the largest music catalogue out of all the music streaming services currently in the market, but what is Deezer’s business model in terms of earning revenue?
Our business model is easy access to high quality music streams via paid subscriptions for the real music fan. This allows us to run an economically viable business in the long-term.
3). From last count Australia appears to be the country with the most music streaming services in the world, with 6 international and two local services at last count – with a population of only 22 million people. In your view is this sustainable over the medium term and why or why not?
Only 2-3 of these services will be around in 1-2 years in Australia and New Zealand. Deezer will be one of them.
4). Services like Rdio currently only have one person on the ground running their operations in this territory, whilst others including Spotify have more than 20 employees. What are Deezer’s intentions for this market in terms of localised services and employee numbers?
We have already 2 and we will be 4-5 by the end of the year. We will staff according to our growth in the marketplace. This is what Deezer has done in each market place where we have launched. Spotify have large staff, because they are selling ads and Rdio have outsourced some of their marketing functions, so their numbers are no reflection on our needs.
5). Australia is a vast country with only one telco that can deliver real coverage across its vast expanse. Other carriers like Vodafail, Virgin and Optus are unable to provide total network coverage even in major cities like Sydney little own outside of major metro areas. So as subscription to premium mobile access is a key to most streaming music businesses revenue models how does Deezer plan to ensure users of its premium service have access on the fly anywhere and at anytime?
I believe some of the Telco’s you have mentioned are seriously upgrading their coverage. Our intentions is to build the best customer experience with our Telco partner of choice. Our offline mode will get you over areas of no phone reception. I recently tested this at Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay has poor mobile reception at the best of time, we listened to Deezer 24/7, when we were not at the Festival.
6). Following on from the previous question, a recent new entrant to the streaming music market in Australia, MOG inked a deal with Telstra, Australia’s largest and most reliable mobile network. This deal included unmetered access to data for all Telstra subscribers signed up to Telstra, which gives MOG in TMV’s view a serious advantage over all other streaming services in the market. What are Deezer’s plans in relation to un-metered data access for its premium subscribers?
Watch this space. Our experience with Orange in the UK and France and other Telcos in other markets makes us the most experienced Music Streaming Service partner for Australia’s and New Zealand’s Telcos….
7). Services such as Spotify have coped an enormous amount of flack from the media, artists and music fans in respect of rather meagre payouts to artists. This no doubt has also tarnished other competing streaming music services in the eyes of some artists as well as music fans – how does Deezer intend to combat this negative perception in respect of:
– a). Artists and some labels
– b). Music fans
We are paying the repertoire owners, who are paying the artists.
Some artists who have published their digital revenue figures have pointed out that Deezer pays 3-4 times as much as Spotify, but they have a different business model.
Music streaming is a numbers game, the more fans we can convert from illegal services to legal services the more money will flow back in the music industry. Illegal services are not giving ANYTHING back to the artists. A premium service costs you 4 coffees a month. This is the price of unlimited access to all the music in the world in high quality. The real music fan gets this. Ironically I find that the same people who are complaining about the costs of music streaming are the ones that complains about the same services not paying artists enough. Ironic? Want your cake and eat it too?
8). On a final note what is your vision for Deezer in the Australian and New Zealand markets and where do you see the company positioned in eighteen months time?
Deezer Australia and New Zealand will be one of the 2-3 music streaming services of choice with an innovative Telco partner championing local artists.
So there you’ve heard it from Deezer and their views on the Australian and New Zealand music streaming marketplace!
- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: David Whittle, Managing Director – M&CSaatchi Australia
- Exclusive Interview: Ross Fraser, Director AnR – Sony Music Australia
- Exclusive: MOG Teams Up With Telstra To Launch In Australia
- Interview: Rdio Prepares To Take On Spotify, Deezer Et Al In Europe
- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jeffery D. Vanderveen, Managing Director – Universal Classical Management & Production