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Spotify rival, Deezer secures $109M in latest funding round

Deezer carves its path in streaming space
Spotify rival Deezer secures $109M funding
Apple Music vs. Spotify

Music streaming service Deezer has raised 100 million euros ($109.3 million) in its latest round of funding, with participation from telecommunications firm, Orange.

The latest cash injection from its Series E round, led by Warner Music Group's owner Access Industries, will help Deezer intensify its customer acquisition efforts worldwide, while developing and accelerating the growth and innovation of its latest products, the firm announced Wednesday.

Following the company's decision to pull its planned initial public offering (IPO) last fall, Deezer has redirected its focus into expanding and diversifying its platform's functions.

These offerings include an increase in available podcasts and audiobooks, along with redesigning its iOS and Android apps, and developing key partnerships.

Deezer’s music catalogue
Courtesy of Deezer

Having secured another multi-million euro funding round during tough market conditions, Deezer's chief executive said that it shows how much faith shareholders have in the company.

"(The funding) shows the confidence of the shareholders and shows their belief in the (streaming) market," Deezer's CEO, Hans-Holger Albrecht told CNBC over the phone.

"Considering the market conditions we're in right now and going forward, it gives us a competitive edge as well, which is important."

Deezer's impressive music catalogue

On top of the financial boost, Deezer announced Wednesday that it has now expanded its music catalogue to more than 40 million songs, making it the "largest music catalogue available globally", the company claims.

While having the "largest music catalogue" highlights how Deezer is stepping up its game against competitors like Apple Music and Spotify; Deezer is more focused on providing bespoke localized content to each of its markets.

"I think the main difference is we've tried to become a very localized player" compared to Spotify and Apple, Albrecht told CNBC, adding that in terms of product and quality, he believes Deezer, Spotify and Apple Music are all "on the same level."

"The number of (additional) tracks reflects the footprint we have in the countries we operate in, and our focus to be very deep into local content and local artists."

Deezer: Plan to enter US markets by year-end

Currently, Deezer is particularly focused on its European markets, and hopes to leverage its position in emerging markets. While creating a stronger footprint in the U.S. remains important, it may take some time as Deezer wants to create a similar localized content presence there, as it has done in Europe.

While the service is already available in over 180 countries, to improve its market share Deezer is keen on getting its marketing right. Already, Deezer has partnered up with the likes of Orange and Three; both of which are prominent telecom contenders in their home market, on top of other brands like Sonos and BMW to appeal to a variety of consumers.

As one of the firm's supporters, Orange, puts it, "consumers everywhere are listening to music on their mobile phones," which provides a resourceful opportunity to engage with new and current users, and tailor to subscribers' music tastes.

Is an IPO on the cards?

In October 2015, Deezer announced it had decided to postpone its IPO, citing market conditions as a key factor. While markets haven't shown any signs of relief since, the CEO told CNBC an IPO would be just one of their future options, adding that under current conditions, Deezer was in a "good position to be private."

"This (IPO) is one of the options we have in the future. It's nothing which we have to evaluate under any kind of pressure or timeframe," Albrecht said, adding that staying private allows the firm to test different content ideas and focus on the long term.

"So we can observe the market. If the market conditions turn to be more favorable again, it's absolutely one of the options we have. We can choose, that's the good news."

Spotify, Apple Music rival Deezer plans for IPO

By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, follow her @AlexGibbsy and @CNBCi