By Steven Gratan
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – French music streaming platform Deezer SA will begin operations in Germany in the coming weeks as the newly listed company pushes its market expansion plans with a focus on securing local partnerships, CEO Jeronimo Folgueira told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
Folgueira, who became CEO a year ago, said the company wants to replicate its Brazil strategy in other countries, but for now it will only focus on a handful. Brazil is Deezer’s second largest market.
“I think in Brazil we were able to replicate the model that we succeeded in France, which is that we enter the market with great strategic partners – like TIM, Globo and Mercado Libre here – who really help us develop,” he said.
Germany is the next country on the company’s list, with a local partnership with RTL Group.
“We are launching Deezer inside the RTL+ app, and that is happening in the next few weeks. This will give us a very strong entry into the German market,” Folgueira said.
“We expect Germany to become the company’s growth engine for the next few years through this. We seek to replicate this successful French and Brazilian model.”
In July, Deezer – one of France’s first so-called “unicorns” – took the plunge on a long-awaited initial public offering (IPO), which analysts considered a bold move given the global economic situation. current.
Shares of the company fell 59% in the days after the IPO, before paring some of those losses.
“The fact that we were able to go public and raise 143 million euros in the current situation (…) shows the strength of our company and our industry,” Folgueira said.
Founded in 2007, just a year after rival Spotify, Deezer had been considering going public for years. It postponed previous plans to go public in 2015 due to market conditions.
Folgueira said the IPO was necessary to raise capital to execute Deezer’s expansion plans and that the company was stable enough to do so, adding that it also wanted to create cash for some of its investors and pave the way for “potential mergers and acquisitions down the road”.
The CEO said he would eventually consider expanding into other markets, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, where the company has a small presence.
“For us to really grow, we have to find a way to enter and penetrate these markets. If we can steal market share and compete with Spotify, Apple, Amazon in France and Brazil, there is no reason so we can’t do it anywhere else in the world.”
Deezer had 9.6 million subscribers at the end of 2021, still well below Spotify’s 180 million premium subscribers at the time.
(Reporting by Steven Grattan; Additional reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Christopher Cushing)