The streaming music service Deezer is about to land in the United States, but it's taking a much different approach than rivals such as Spotify and Rdio.
Instead of offering a free service and trying to convert users into paid subscribers, Deezer is targeting the premium market with high-definition audio service called Deezer Elite. A beta version will launch exclusively for Sonos home audio systems on September 15, streaming 16-bit FLAC lossless audio at 44.1 Khz.
At $20 per month, Deezer Elite is twice as expensive as premium services from Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio and others, but the home audio quality is significantly higher than what competitors offer. Billboard reports that users can lock in a promotional rate of $10 per month with a full year's subscription, or $15 per month when paying month-to-month. Sonos users are also eligible for a free 30 day trial.
Beyond the Sonos integration, Deezer's U.S. launch plans aren't clear, but the company will offer a mobile version of its Elite service with 320 kbps audio quality—on par with what Spotify offers to paid subscribers on both mobile and desktop devices. Deezer Elite will eventually expand to non-U.S. Subscribers as well.
Although Deezer is the second-largest streaming music service in the world, it has stayed out of the United States throughout its six-year existence. Speaking to Billboard, Deezer's North America CEO Tyler Goldman cited a fragmented market, requiring a different strategy to break in. While it's unlikely that Deezer will gain widespread adoption with its high-end service, it's at least offering something that none of its competitors have—not yet, at least.