The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is one of the regions – like Latin America – where Deezer sees an opportunity to compete strongly against its larger global rivals.
A $185m funding round in August 2018 included Saudi Arabian investment fund Kingdom Holding Company and media firm Rotana Group, and was quickly followed by Deezer’s launch across the MENA region in October 2018. The following month, CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht said that partnerships with local telcos would be key to Deezer’s strategy, with Saudi Telecom Company (STC) said to have been at the top of its list.
Well, it took a while, but Deezer has this month announced its first telco deal in the MENA region, and it’s with STC. It’s a soft, rather than hard bundle: “Customers who sign up starting December using their STC numbers will receive three free months of Deezer Premium,” reported the Saudi Gazette. So, a free trial, but one with one of the most prominent telcos in the region, signifying Deezer’s ambitions there.