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UPDATE: Deezer Eyes U.S. As It Launches Free Music Globally, Deezer4Artists Promo Platform

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UPDATED: Deezer CEO Axel Dauchez told the Wall Street Journal today that  said that they are "looking for a partner in the U.S." that would help it gain access to a "significant volume of subscribers."  No details were provided, but telecoms or Yahoo would make ideal partners.

Deezer, a streaming music service that has yet to come to the U.S., has announced the launch of an ad-supported free version of their service. The launch brings the new freemium option to over 150 countries including the UK. Big news for Deezer, but musicians will probably be more impressed by their Deezer4Artists program creating opportunities for artists to connect with music fans.

Deezer's Ad-Supported Free Music Service

Deezer announced this week that they are launching a new ad-funded free music service in over 150 countries. The service is also launching in the UK with the free service available for new users for a year before being limited to 2 hours a month of free music. Deezer is reportedly looking for a partner to launch in the U.S.

This promotional approach will give a much broader range of listeners a chance to consider a premium level of the streaming music service and join the now 3 million paying subscribers.

It was unclear if the promotional service would function in the same manner outside of the UK. Though the wide range of countries involved does not yet include the U.S., Deezer has been in talks with potential partners for months.

Details of Deezer4Artists

From an artists perspective Deezer's reveal of the details of their upcoming Deezer4Artists (D4A) program, combining social networking and artist marketing tools, was the big news. Termed a "holistic program to reinvent the artist - fan connection," D4A is said to be "comprised of seven core features" described as follows:

Deezer analytics: Artists and their labels will be granted real time access to streaming data – allowing the journey of their music to be followed worldwide.

Deezer certified accounts: each artist will be given a certified account, visible on Deezer.

Deezer pages: Artist pages will be overhauled and redesigned to allow any given artist power over customisation, from look and feel to the information they display.

Deezer uploader: Artists will be able to directly upload audio exclusive content of many different types.

Open Deezer: Deezer has created an open app development programme, at the core of which is a specifically dedicated work group that will support artists to innovate and create software that brings music to new audiences in new ways.

Plus:

Deezer affiliation: In early 2013 Deezer will release a full affiliation system allowing artists or commercial partners to be rewarded for any new subscriber they bring to Deezer.

Deezer Artist packages: Also in early 2013, Deezer’s editorial teams will select and champion artists who will be offered special promotional packages specifically designed to help support them at different stages of their career.

With Deezer4Artists, Deezer becomes the first legal music streaming service with a strong program of self-service artist support. Smaller companies that try to launch social networks for musicians and fans face the difficulties of a two-sided market. Deezer already has the music fans and that makes it attractive to artists seeking marketing opportunities.

In addition, given issues with the GrooveShark, BitTorrent and Pirate Bay brands, Deezer is the first large-scale music service without such problems to offer promotional services to artists. The fact that many of the features are self-service and open to all artists while select musicians will get an extra boost creates multiple levels of opportunities for indie artists.

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/App.net) blogs about music crowdfunding at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM). To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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