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Midem paid for part of Chris O’Brien’s travel to Cannes for the Midem Music Industry Festival, where he is participating as a startup competition judge. Our coverage remains objective.
The entire music industry is holding its breath, awaiting the unveiling of Apple’s new streaming service at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.
But the new-ish chief executive of Deezer, the world’s second largest music streaming service after Spotify, isn’t sweating it. Hans-Holger Albrecht, a German executive who spent years in the media and telecom industry, joined Paris-based Deezer three months ago.
Speaking at Midem today, a music and technology conference held annually in Cannes, Albrecht insisted that there is going to be room for several successful streaming music services. He pointed out that with the number of smartphones expected to grow from 1 billion to 2 billion over the next few years, the streaming music business was really just getting started.
Rather than fretting, he sees Apple’s entrance as the latest endorsement of streaming over downloads.
“There’s going to be serious competition,” Albrecht said. “But competition is good because it makes us run faster. And when a big company like Apple moves into a business like streaming, it proves that it’s the business model of the future.”
Albrecht also noted that streaming was a difficult business to get right, both in terms of the back-end technology and the consumer experience.
But rather than seeking to start a war of words with Apple, Albrecht said he is hopeful that Apple’s entrance will help educate consumers about the value of streaming and convert more of them into paying customers.
“When someone like Apple comes in, it will help us educate the market,” he said. “With Apple coming in, the tide lifts everyone. I’m not worried about Apple.”
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