Deezer, despite being little-known in Canada, is one of the world’s most popular streaming music services. Based in France, it’s second only to Spotify in terms of paid subscribers, and boasts a fully-formed API in addition to native apps for most operating systems.
But whereas Deezer has spent the majority of the past year partnering with carriers to build its customer base, its mobile apps have trailed Rdio and Spotify in the design department. And though Deezer boasts a huge library of albums, its competitors have been eating its lunch for song discovery and exploration.
Recently, with the introduction of Hear This, Deezer has been working to fill those gaps. Along with a huge iOS update today, the company has focused on making it easy for subscribers to find music similar to their favourites, but there is also an emphasis on curation, with playlists created by Deezer Editors in each of its regions. Hear This gives daily recommendations based on previously-heard songs, friends’ listening habits and “handpicked recommendations by Deezer’s music experts.”
Today’s iOS update revamps the app’s design, debuting a left-side sliding menu bar that makes getting to new parts of the app easier; a ubiquitous search bar also fixes one of the previous version’s biggest issues: discovery.
Deezer, which like its competitors charges $9.99/month for a la carte access, boasts 30 million tracks and 12 million active users, 5 million of which pay for the service (though Spotify argues that some of them are receiving service free through telco partners around the world). Hear This is a feed, much like Facebook or Google+, displaying tracks that, based on a variety of factors, it thinks you will like.