| 02 Dec 2023
Deezer to roll out high definition music service - Deezer Elite this March

MUMBAI: Music streaming site- Deezer is introducing a high end version of its service called 'Deezer Elite' in over 150 countries, in partnership with Sonos, the California-based audio equipment company. The high definition version was first rolled out in September 2014 in the US, following which 200,000 people signed up for the service which is priced at $14.99 a month as compared to its $9.99 a month regular subscription.

Deezer's new service will offer its current library of 35 million tracks for streaming at Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC). These files come in a standard 1,411 kbps or higher format, which ensures higher sound quality. However, it is unlikely that FLAC will be available on Deezer Elite subscribers' phones, considering most mobile devices are unable to support the format. The company presently claims to have 16 million listeners, of which 6 million are paying subscribers, worldwide.

The decision to roll out Deezer's high end feature in other regions comes when more people are paying attention to high quality music. Recently, Norwegian-based firm Aspiro made the news after a holding company, which is controlled by rap mogul Jay Z, attempted to acquire its assets. Aspiro offers high- definition music services- WiMP and Tidal, which together have approximately 41,000 paying users.

Deezer Elite will be available in various countries across North and South America, Europe and Asia from 19 March onwards. Currently, the service can be availed through Sonos hi-fi systems. Deezer subscribers, who are also Sonos owners, will have the option of switching to the Elite version at no additional cost. However, new users will be able to sign up for the high quality service only from 19 March. Although there is no set price for the service, it is expected to be close to the US pricing.

The move is a rather strategic one for Deezer, which faces competition from several other music streaming services like Spotify, Google and Apple, amongst others.