Tone Deaf’s Guide To Streaming Services
Intro: After a successful integration into Europe, Deezer launched in Australia, New Zealand and Canada simultaneously in late April, albeit to little fanfare here. With other 1.3 million paid subscribers and 20 million users worldwide, Deezer also does a pretty solid job of differentiating itself from its competitors, particularly with ‘editorialised content’ (more on that later).
Music Library – 5/5: Deezer say on their website that their catalogue is a rich 18 million worth of songs, which puts it above both Spotify and Mog. From our test, it was only missing a few local independent acts and its syndicated servers mean that we get things a little later occasionally, but it seems to be living up to its enormous catalogue size.
Design 4/5: Of all the streaming services, we have to say that Deezer has the most unique outlook of all the five we’ve looked at. The play track and runtime panel sits up the top, with a collage of artwork in the background. They also invite you to search their music collection, making the search function a prominent feature of the homepage, along with a ‘Top’ list for artists, track and albums. There’s also a ‘What’s Hot’ section and their ‘Top Radio Channels’ tucked near the bottom. It’s nice. It’s unusual. It’s different.
Functionality 5/5: Just like Spotify, Deezer has a handy relationship with Facebook. Which makes connecting a snap. No time wasted filling in your details, just sing in with your Facebook account and it does the rest; which means you’ll be able to see what your friends are listening to on the service, or show off that you’re digging the new Killers single with a ‘like’. If that’s not enough you can add your own comment for any albums as well. Deezer has also partnered up with music websites, which syndicates their album reviews on certain records. Strangely enough, the service also gives you the option to buy the song or album that you’re listening to on Amazon or iTunes.
Price 2/5: If you sign up, Deezer gives you access to its vast database of music, but only allows a 30 second preview of songs. Although it does still allow you to share what you’re listening to via social media. There is no ‘basic’ option as Deezer has cleverly marketed to just two pricing options. You can either choose from Premium or – wait for it – Premium+. The former, at $7.49 a month, gets you; artist themed radio, high quality sound, no ads and exclusive content. Namely, competition prizes (like concert tickets!) and The Deezer Mixing Desk (more on that later). Premium+ has all of the above as well as mobile and tablet connectivity and offline listening on such devices for $14.99 a month.
Limitations: If you’re not interested in Social media interactivity, then Deezer’s heavy Facebook focus might not be for you. The lack of apps might also get you down and despite it’s many options, the Premium+ subscription is the most expensive out of the five analysed here.
The edge: Deezer, like MOG, has focused its efforts on sound quality. It even gives you the option to change the sound levels with the innovative ‘Deezer Mixing Desk’. If you’re so inclined to get creative, this feature is certainly unique, if not a game changer for the market. Deezer also features ‘editorialised content’ which means they’re music isn’t just judged by numbers and algorithms, but actual people (with music tastes) who program what’s hot on the music service. Not just big labels pumping money into the names you’re already familiar with. Diversity is the name of the game, and Deezer has some fancy footwork. It’s already highly competitive with big daddy Spotify on every level, it just needs a few more users for its features to really come into their own.
The verdict: 4/5