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Deezer launches Elite high quality streaming service worldwide via Sonos partnership

By | Published on Wednesday 11 February 2015


Deezer has announced the global launch of its high quality streaming service, Deezer Elite, via wireless music system Sonos. This follows a US launch via the same partnership last year.

Initially the Deezer Elite service will only be available to existing Deezer customers, who can upgrade at no additional cost if subscribing for a full year. Sonos users on a promotional trial can also upgrade for 36 euros. It will become available to all across 150 territories from 19 Mar.

Exactly what price Deezer will charge new subscribers is not due to be announced until next month, though it will almost certainly be higher than a standard subscription to the streaming service. However, when launched in the US users were offered an introductory price of $9.99 per month for the first year, if the user committed to a twelve month contract, or $14.99 per month for a rolling subscription. After the introductory period, it will cost $19.99 per month.

It’s likely, therefore, that UK users will be charged £19.99 per month following any introductory offer, similar to rival high quality audio streaming service Tidal.

Of course, the high price is one reason why high quality streaming is a niche product, and by allowing it to only be used within the Sonos system, Deezer is making its own a niche within a niche. Exactly what take-up Elite has had in the US to date isn’t known, though Deezer reckons that the service as a whole has picked up over 200,000 new users since launching in the US – including users of the standard premium tier, available through Bose systems.

Says the company’s North American CEO Tyler Goldman: “Our partnership with Sonos offers the ultimate experience for music fans, combining the best wireless home music system with the best music streaming solution. Given our early success, with over 200,000 new users in the first few months since launch, making the service available globally is a natural next step to satisfy the unmet needs of audio enthusiasts across all markets”.

Sonos CEO John MacFarlane added: “There is a lot of momentum happening in streaming and it’s going to keep getting better for music lovers. We’re excited Deezer is pushing for even better quality and to bring Deezer Elite to more Sonos customers around the world”.

Deezer has also released some research that says 65% of people who have used Deezer Elite would never listen to an MP3 again. Not one. Even by accident. And even though that probably means abandoning sections of their music collection forever. They just won’t do it. Such is the power of often indistinguishable improvements in sound quality.