In a bold move to provide ‘valuable support for artists and enhance fan experiences’ amid a lack of subscriber growth, Deezer has raised its subscription prices for the second time in a year.
Music streaming service Deezer has published a statement on its website announcing its decision to raise its subscription prices for the second time in a year. The France-based company’s website explained the rise in costs, attributing it to a need to provide “valuable support for artists and enhance fan experiences.”
The move comes amidst worrisome subscriber declines for the company. During the first half of this year, the company gained subscribers in its home turf of France, but those gains were erased by significant drops in other countries, with direct subscriber levels ending at 5.6 million. Currently, Deezer is getting dwarfed by mega-giants like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.
Beginning September 21, Deezer will increase prices for all new premium and family subscriptions in key territories, including France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, and the UK. Current subscribers to those tiers will see an increase in cost beginning with their first billing period after October 24.
Last year, Deezer became the first major music streaming platform to increase its subscription prices in the US by a dollar. Other services followed soon after, with Spotify – long reluctant to bump its cost – following suit last.
“This is the most ambitious change to the economic model since the creation of music streaming and a change that will support the creation of high-quality content in the years to come,” said Jeronimo Folgueira, Deezer CEO. “At Deezer, we always put music first, providing a high-quality experience for fans and championing fairness in the industry. We are now embracing a necessary change to better reflect the value of each piece of content and eliminate all wrong incentives to protect and support artists.”
“There is no other industry where all content is valued the same, and it should be obvious to everyone that the sound of rain or a washing machine is not as valuable as a song from your favorite artist streamed in HiFi.”
Earlier this month, Deezer announced its partnership with Universal Music Group to launch a new “artist-centric” streaming payment model in an effort to reform the current model where artists and songwriters are paid based on their percentage of a platform’s total streams. The imbalance in the industry resulting from the current “aggregate” model sees superstars rewarded far beyond the efforts of their peers.
Still, UMG and Deezer’s new payment model has raised concern that only artists represented by major companies like UMG will benefit, contributing to yet another industry imbalance.