Smart teams up with Deezer for music streaming

By Rizal Raoul S. Reyes

Posted at Jul 10 2014 02:44 PM | Updated as of Jul 14 2014 09:49 PM

(From L): Steven Frank, Deezer business development manager for Asia Pacific; Dona Inthaxoum, Deezer label relations head for Asia & Oceania; Mellissa Limcaoco, innovation and product development group head at Smart Communications; and Kathryn Carag, postpaid marketing head at Smart.

MANILA -- Hoping to broaden and strengthen its foothold in the music space, telco giant Smart Communications, Inc. on Wednesday launched a partnership with global music-streaming service Deezer.

Mellissa Limcaoco, innovation and product development group head at Smart, said the collaboration with Deezer complements Smart’s homegrown music service SPINNR, which offers song downloads for as low as P10 and music streaming for P2.50 per day -- roughly equivalent to the value of three text messages.

"Music as an experience is an important facet in the lives of Filipinos and Smart knows the importance of giving access to musical content to our customers,” said Kathryn Carag, postpaid marketing head at Smart, in a press briefing held at the Bonifacio Global City.

While SPINNR provides Smart’s subscribers with streaming and downloads of the latest songs, concert events, meet-and-greets with their favorite artists and exclusive access to official merchandise, Deezer delivers music streaming with a large catalog of 30 million songs.

Smart pointed to the vast potential of music because of the emergence of new types of mobile devices as the Philippines was named as the fastest-growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia by a GfK Asia study in 2012.

“With smartphone adoption still expected to jump exponentially in the coming months, more users will gain access to Internet-enabled devices capable of music streaming, and Smart is the only mobile provider that will have a full lineup of music services ready for them,” said Charles Lim, executive vice president and head of the wireless consumer division at Smart in a press statement.

Limcaoco said there is a new trend on how Filipinos are consuming music as more and more subscribers are jumping into the music streaming bandwagon.

“Just a few years ago, music streaming was not a familiar concept among most Filipino music lovers. With SPINNR, Smart has paved the way for more fans to affordably enjoy music anytime, anywhere without worrying about the limited storage space on their mobile devices,” Limcaoco said.

With the addition of Deezer to its music portfolio, she said Smart expects music streaming to be more pervasive as it hopes to address the varied tastes of music fans nationwide.

“The high smartphone penetration in Philippines means that music lovers are taking their world, and their music, on the go,” said Steven Frank, Business Development Manager for Deezer in Asia Pacific. “With over 30 million tracks in our catalog, Philippine music fans can enjoy their favorite songs and discover new music from international, Asian or OPM artists with high-speed Internet connection by Smart, no matter where they are.”

Deezer offers, with over 30 million songs and powerful music discovery solutions, will initially be available to Smart postpaid subscribers through Unlisurf Premium Plans starting at just P1,175 a month, bundled with the year’s latest smartphones and unlimited LTE surfing.

Users, for example, can get the Sony Xperia M2 at Unlisurf Premium Plan 1175, with unlimited mobile surfing, free calls and texts, and a Deezer Premium+ subscription already included in the package. Other phones available include the Nokia Lumia 1020 at Plan 1675; and the Sony Xperia Z2 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S5 at Plan 2175.

As an exclusive perk to early subscribers, Smart will be giving those who sign up for any of the Unlisurf Premium Plans a P175 bill rebate for six months.

Existing Postpaid subscribers, meanwhile, can take advantage of the various Deezer Music Packs that come with a free Deezer Premium+ subscription. These include Deezer Daily for P25 one-day Deezer access plus 25 SMS and 10MB of mobile data for Deezer streaming), Deezer Weekly for P125 (seven-day Deezer access plus 125 SMS, and 50MB of mobile data for Deezer streaming), and Deezer Monthly for P250 (30-day Deezer access plus 250 SMS, and 100MB of mobile data for Deezer streaming).

Offers for Smart prepaid subscribers will be announced soon.