Forget Spotify payouts: today’s ‘guess the streaming numbers’ game is Deezer subscriber growth. Informa Telecoms & Media is suggesting that the company’s paid subscriber numbers have stayed flat at 1.5m for the last six months.
Analyst Giles Cottle thinks that the company’s bundling deal with Orange – previously the engine of its sharp growth – may also be the reason for the levelling off.
“Some users who initially signed up to Orange to get Deezer free might have been tempted onto other packages once their Deezer/Orange contracts expired,” writes Cottle in a new report. “It also suggests that Deezer has had relatively little impact in the UK, where it is up against the much-hyped Spotify.”
Perhaps more worrying for Deezer is similarly-static growth in its overall (paid plus free) users. The company tells PaidContent that it has “a community of over 20 million users”, yet it was stating the same figure back in September 2011 when it prepared to launch in the UK.
Even so, the Orange point made by Cottle is worth chewing over a bit more. Bundles with operators and ISPs where streaming music users don’t feel the cost of a subscription are seen as potentially an important engine of growth for the music industry, yet the question of what happens when those free bundles or tariffs expire isn’t talked about much.