Perks for influencers on PeerIndex?

I am firm believer that Peer Index is the leading light in measuring a user’s social influence. You may have read a series of posts on our blog before about how it is possible to “Game” Klout and influence other social metric sites. To give you an idea, I spent a week away from the social world recently with very minimal activity. In that time Klout increased my score by 8 points. Hmm… PeerIndex however has held firm, make less knee jerk decisions about how influential an individual is on certain topics. This is why I was happy to discover this little gem on my peer index Dashboard…

How could I resist? It would seem that if you are considered influential in music by PeerIndex you can get a month’s free unlimited subscription to Deezer, a relatively new music streaming service to the UK.

They say that nothing in life is free… It turns out they were wrong! I’m not one to let an opportunity like this pass me by! So, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you… (Insert Drum Roll here).

Elevate Locals Deezer Review courtesy of PeerIndex.

Firstly I would like to mention that I am already a premium Spotify user so naturally I will be comparing the two in a head to head, VS, Duel type thing.

An introduction to Deezer

Unless you live in France the chances are that you hadn’t heard about Deezer until late in 2011, if at all. I guess it can be considered one of the new kids on the block but Daniel Marhely has been chipping his way into the music industry since 2006. Deezer.com was launched in 2009 in France and only in 2011 was it made available in the UK.

Deezer by Numbers (Taken from their website)

  • 20 million users
  • 6 million unique visitors per month
  • over 1.3 million subscribers to the Deezer Premium services
  • more than 400.000 Facebook fans
  • more than 100.000 Twitter followers

I am informed (by Wikipedia) that Deezer currently has 15 million licensed tracks, and more than 30.000 SmartRadio channels.

The web Interface

Deezer, unlike Spotify, is a 100% web based music streaming software. Meaning there is no need to download any software. At first glance the interface is quite pleasing. The top of the page is always taken up by the music player, and various player controls. It also displays the current track and a simple search facility.

The Deezer Dashboard

You get the feeling that Deezer have tried to make the process as simple as possible. The player is instantly loaded with Deezer’s own “What’s Hot” playlist giving you some popular tracks to listen to. The Artist and Album pages are very “Apple” in their design making them feel very familiar to the iPod/iPhone owners amongst us.

The Deezer Artists Page – Kings of Leon

One of the more interesting features is the Radio Channels page. Upon visiting the page you are met by a wall of images each representing a different Deezer radio station. The Stations are made from a selection of tracks based on an Artist a Genre or real life radio station. While listening to a station you are only allowed to skip a track 5 times in any 60 minute period. This can be a double edged sword, it’s great way to discover new music you may have normally passed up on, but if you do really dislike a track you will be more inclined to stop listening.

The Deezer Radio Channels Page

The mobile app

For Deezer premium+ members there is a multi-platform app in the offering. I am a proud iPhone 4s owner, often too quick to snap up any free apps pointed in my direction. Deezer’s mobile app is certainly one of the slicker music apps I have encountered. It is essentially a slightly scaled down version of the web app with a very tasty added feature. The mobile app provides the ability to download any Albums or Tracks directly to your phone. Great for those times when there may not have a 3g or Wi-Fi connection available. The download process is handled very nicely in the background and is very fast over Wi-Fi.

Deezers iPhone app – Dashboard, Download screen and Radio screen

I’m happy to say that the UI consists of larger buttons avoiding the pitfall that so many apps fall into. I have never understood why app developers create buttons that are smaller than my fingers surface contact. Touch screen devices only succeed if they are easy to use! +1 to Deezer for their efforts.

One observation I have made whilst using the mobile app is that it is only possible to have 1 track being played by any 1 account at any time. If you are currently using Deezer’s web app and start to play a song in your mobile app, the web app will stop playing instantly, and visa-versa. So think twice before sharing any login details with a close friend.

As a side note I have been listening to Deezer’s “Electro” Radio station whilst writing this review and haven’t felt the need to skip a track yet. Maybe the limited skip feature isn’t as much of a hindrance as first thought. Though I wouldn’t have put all of these tracks into the “Electro” category myself, each to their own.

Deezer VS Spotify – The Duel

I guess the time has come… Unfortunately due to Spotify’s success, all music streaming services, at some point, will be compared to the big green giants.

The accounts used in this comparison are Spotify’s Premium account and Deezer’s Premium+ account.

Feature Deezer Spotify
Ad Free Yes Yes
Radio Mode Yes Yes
320kbps Streaming Yes Yes
Play through music systems Yes Yes
Play your own MP3s Yes Yes
Offline mode Yes Yes
Mobile Apps Yes Yes
Requires software download No Yes
Price £9.99 £9.99

As you can see there is very little to difference between the two. The only difference worth noting really is the fact that Spotify requires a software download to use their service. Although the software is very well made I do have my reservations with Spotify. More than once I have had problems streaming music caused by the connection to Spotify’s servers. They also force updates on a regular basis. I am sure this is to make improvements and fix any bugs but it seems a little too often for my liking.

In the short time I have been using Deezer I am yet to have any issues streaming music or downloading tracks. That said I do think Deezer’s service is slightly cheapened by it being browser based. I find myself using the mobile app more than the web app. There is nothing more annoying than closing your Deezer tab mid album by accident. A premium music streaming service should feel robust and weighty and although it may take a little longer to set up, and it isn’t 100% perfect I think I will be sticking with my Spotify subscription.

Conclusion

The truth is, Deezer is a very good product. The only reason I can see anyone not being fully satisfied with its offering would be because it’s browser based. The interface is still very slick, the streaming quality is excellent, download speeds are ample and the mobile app does a very good job.

I would suggest that anyone looking for a premium music streaming service gives Deezer a chance. Being a Web Designer I am impressed with what they have achieved. The same way I was impressed when the Hype Machine was launched.

It’s not every day that you are given something for free so I can’t end this piece without saying thank you to PeerIndex for this lovely perk. I’m not sure if this is something they will be doing more of in the future for different influence topics but I certainly hope so.