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Deezer launches high quality streaming service in Japan

By | Published on Friday 8 December 2017


Deezer has announced that it is to enter the Japanese market for the first time with its high quality audio service Deezer HiFi. The music streaming company is partnering with local audio hardware makers Onkyo and Yamaha to help it to reach audiophiles in the country.

Although higher quality streaming is more of a niche market, Deezer has been increasingly trying to compete in this less crowded field in recent years. Its launch in Japan is similar to its entry into the US in 2014, where it also initially launched with just its high quality service, then called Deezer Elite, via a partnership with Sonos.

Deezer revamped its high quality service earlier this year, renaming it Deezer HiFi and partnering with more hardware companies beyond Sonos. With the latest expansion, it reckons that it’s the first streaming service to offer lossless CD quality audio in Japan.

This higher quality sounds comes at a premium in terms of price point, of course, which makes up somewhat for the niche market thing. A little. Though it’ll only be worth a premium as long as no streaming company decides to offer this level of audio quality as standard. But that’s probably a way off for now.

The new partnerships in Japan will see Deezer HiFi available through net-connected speakers and amplifiers make by Onkyo, its subsidiary Pioneer, and Yamaha. Onkyo already has its own hi-res download store, but has not as yet moved into streaming.

Says the CEO of Deezer’s Asian business Henrik Karlberg: “As one of the early pioneers of streaming, we are excited to be in a position where we have the support of our partners, and also of the labels, in taking the Japanese music industry in a direction that is ultimately better for all parties – fans, artists, labels, management companies and Deezer. By making Deezer HiFi accessible to music lovers across the region, we will not only be able to deliver a fully immersive listening experience to customers but, together, we will be writing a brand new chapter in the Japanese music scene”.

At launch, a Deezer HiFi subscription will cost 1960 yen per month – about £12.80. A good deal compared to the UK, where it costs £19.99 per month, but still double a Spotify subscription in Japan.