LONDON -- Deezer SA, the French music streaming service, which is taking on Spotify Ltd. and Apple Inc., will seek to raise as much as $460 million when it floats on the Paris stock exchange at the end of the month, and plans to use the money to grow its customer base through media partnerships.
Deezer will offer over 8.2 million shares to both domestic and international investors in the price range of 36.40 euros ($41.65) and 49.24 euros per share, which will net the company somewhere between 300 million and 406 million euros. The company will float on the Paris-based Euronext stock exchange on Oct. 30.
Founded in 2007 by Daniel Marhely and Jonathan Benassaya as a free music-streaming service, Deezer has grown through partnerships with device manufacturers and network operators. In 2012 it raised 70 million euros from Access Industries in its only significant investment so far.
The money raised from its initial public offering (IPO) will go towards expanding its customer base, the company said, claiming that its partnerhsips with over 40 leading telecoms providers as well as device manufacturers like Sonos and Bang & Olufsen "provides the company with a springboard for the launch and development of its services internationally, as music streaming gains penetration worldwide."
Deezer is going up against bigger companies in the music streaming space, most notably Apple and Spotify, but it will be hoping that its global reach, together with its unique approach to building partners, will give it a foothold in what is potentially a very lucrative market.
"It will help us expand our offering through innovative marketing campaigns, drive deeper distribution through our telecom and manufacturer partnerships, and further improve our product and content to deliver an even better service for our listeners," Deezer CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht said.
According to recent research in the U.S. and the U.K., only 6 percent of people listen to music streaming services at home, with over 50 percent still listening to music on the radio, while 42 percent still listen to CDs. While there are some innovative companies trying to address this market, established players like Spotify, Apple and Deezer will see this as a huge opportunity.
The music industry, however, has issues with the financial model of most streaming services, claiming that artists are not getting compensated adequately for the number of people listening to their music.
Deezer is available in 180 countries and boasts a music catalog of 35 million songs plus over 40,000 talk shows and podcasts. According to documents filed for its IPO, the company has 6.3 million subscribers as of June 2015 and had a loss of 27 million euros on revenue of 142 million euros in 2014, a rise of 53 percent compared to 2013.
By comparison, Spotify is available in around 60 countries globally with a catalog of music featuring some 30 million songs. However, it boasts over 20 million paid subscribers along with another 55 million subscribers to its free service. Spotify reported losses of $197 million in 2014 on revenue of $1.3 billion -- which was up 45 percent compared to 2013.
While there has been a lot of speculation about a potential Spotify flotation, the company has recently been reported to have closed a $526 round, which has put talks of an IPO on hold for the moment.