Nicolas Rogès

July 20, 2023

This article may contain affiliate links.

The history of Deezer

There’s no way you’ve missed it. Deezer is now one of the most popular platforms in the world, particularly in France. It boasts almost ten million subscribers, including over three million in France. The history of Deezer is pretty rich. But how and when did everything start for Deezer? 

Source: Deezer Blog

Soundiiz is launching a series of “historical” articles designed to help you understand the development of your daily streaming services. Listening is great, but reading is pretty cool as well, right?

The foundations of the history of Deezer

The Deezer story begins like other success stories that sound like they came straight out of a self-help book: with one person, a young computer scientist, in his kitchen. When, in 2006, Daniel Marhely decided from his Parisian kitchen to create a platform making music free of charge, he had no idea that his project would become one of the world’s pioneering streaming companies

Daniel calls his service Blogmusik. The aim is for anyone to access MP3s freely on one platform. The founder of Blogmusik is passionate about music and wants to make it as easily available as possible. But only some things go according to plan. SACEM, a French copyright organization, feared the proliferation of freely available audio files and took legal action to shut the site down for a year after its launch.

Source: Deezer Blog

By 2007, Daniel Marhely wasn’t giving up. He crossed paths with Jonathan Benassaya, a student at the ESSEC business school, and together they founded Deezer, based on the same principle of massive access to music, but this time respecting legal constraints and remuneration of rights holders. It took him six months to put everything in order and get the machine up and running again. The success was dazzling: within a month, Deezer attracted almost eight hundred thousand people, and by the end of the year, nearly three million users had joined the ranks of the young company.

Deezer has been launched, but its business model still needs to be fully formed. 

Early growth and development

The site operated on a completely free model in the early days, generating very little revenue. In 2009, the situation changed. You now need to be registered to use the platform. Advertisements were also introduced between certain songs. The service is still free, but it comes with a few constraints. To remedy this, Deezer is launching two Premium offers, an Unlimited Streaming tier for €4.99 and the Desktop tier for €9.99. Advertisements disappear, and for the more expensive offer, the Deezer account becomes accessible on several different terminals. 

The Universal Music and Warner Music catalogs are integrated, adding millions of references to an already solid record.

Source: Deezer Blog

All this contributed to growth, and in 2011, over 8% of people registered on Deezer took out a paid subscription. But profits are still too low, and Deezer is forced to restructure. 

The company is also facing increasing competition. Spotify was launched in 2008 and entered the same market. The Swedish firm grew faster internationally than Deezer and is now the world leader in streaming. Other platforms are competing with Deezer in an increasingly saturated market. 

Partnerships in the history of Deezer

Deezer is doing well, particularly in France, by forging partnerships with major companies such as Toshiba, Samsung, Bouygues Telecom, LG, and Orange. Orange bought 11% of the company in 2011 and included a Deezer Premium subscription in its Premium phone offers. It enabled Deezer to further establish itself in the French market by joining forces with a telephone giant.

Another partnership is proving fruitful. The Fnac-Darty group, a French reference in the audiovisual sector, has signed a three-year contract with Deezer, stipulating that three months subscription to Deezer Premium will be offered for every purchase of audio equipment. Another significant development is the purchase of Stitcher, a company specializing in podcasts, enabling Deezer to position itself in an increasingly buoyant sector. It’s a worthwhile investment in the long term since it now allows Deezer to be considered a key player in podcasting. 

Source: Deezer Blog

In 2015, Deezer invested in audio quality with the launch of Deezer Elite (now called “Deezer Hifi”), enabling users to listen to music in FLAC quality. It marks a turning point in the company’s development, positioning Deezer as a player that allows audiophiles who have often complained about the mediocre quality of music streaming to find something they like. A year after the launch of Deezer Elite, Deezer took another step forward with its move into the United States. Initially available only in France, Belgium, and the UK, the company expanded across Europe in March 2012 to Latin America and selected Asian countries. 

Source: Deezer Blog

After massive investments in podcasting, audio, and well-managed partnerships in 2018, Deezer is valued at one billion euros and is more than ever a key player in French music streaming. But other challenges still lie ahead for the Paris-based company. 


Deezer is at a turning point in its history. The French company needs to capitalize on its many years of experience and reputation in the French market to conquer more territories. In April 2022, Deezer merged with the Spac I2PO group, created in 2021 by the Pinault family, banker Matthieu Pigasse, and Iris Knobloch, ex-president of Warner Media France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Benelux. The aim was to prepare for Deezer’s successful IPO and to value the company at just over one billion dollars. By 2025, the company expects to be cash flow positive, which, according to the French website Le Figaro, is yet to be the case.

Deezer also works on partnerships in Brazil, the USA with Sonos, and Germany with RTL. Therefore, Deezer’s next big move will involve increased internationalization, and the company is well on the way to succeeding. The new CEO, Jeronimo Folgueira, who took up his post in 2021, has laid the groundwork for a gradual and effective ramp-up.

Jeronimo Folgueira
Source: Deezer Blog

In April 2023, Jeronimo Folgueira was included on Billboard’s famous list of International Power Players, which recognizes the most influential personalities in the music world.

The future looks bright!

Key figures of the history of Deezer

Today – July 2023 figures – Deezer, according to the “Investors” section of its website, is :

  • 16 years of existence
  • Over 600 employees worldwide
  • Coverage of 185 countries
  • Over 120 million songs available in HiFi version
  • 9.4 million subscribers
  • 451 million euros in revenues by 2022

Look at this page to learn more about the milestones, by year, of Deezer’s growth.

Why use Deezer with Soundiiz?

Did you like the Deezer success story and want to try it? Then you’re in luck. With its two-month trial period, Deezer lets you see if the service is right for you!

Once you’ve signed up – we’ll explain everything here – you can extend your streaming experience with Soundiiz. We work hand in hand with the streaming platforms to offer you the best possible user experience. And yes, our services are 100% legal because we don’t download or retrieve any audio files.

With Soundiiz, once your Deezer account is connected to your Soundiiz account, you can delete and update multiple playlists and manage everything in one place: you can keep your playlists up to date and never out of date.

And don’t worry if you’ve already subscribed to Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube Music. One thing that holds many people back in their decision to switch streaming platforms is the fear of losing data (playlists, favorite songs, etc.) accumulated over the years on their old streaming service.

Soundiiz allows you to avoid the embarrassing situation of arriving at Deezer and starting from scratch. Building up a library of artists, songs, albums, or playlists… Wouldn’t that be frustrating?

With Soundiiz, you can find all your Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL, YouTube Music, and other data directly in your Deezer account in just a few seconds.

How does it work? It’s so easy! You can use our Transfer function.

There you go: subscribe to Deezer and import your data using Soundiiz!

Ready to try Soundiiz ?