At a launch in Sydney last night featuring sets from Bertie Blackman, Flume, and more, French music subscription service Deezer announced it would be launching a free service in Australia on Tuesday, 11 December, 2012.

Last night’s announcement is the next step in Deezer’s quest to liberate music and rebuild its value, restoring the magical connection between artist and fans. Deezer’s vision for music was outlined at London’s Abbey Road Studios in October, at the same time as the news of its $130 million funding from the owner of Warner Music.

“Last night’s live video stream is a great example of Deezer connecting artists with their fans globally in the most compelling fashion,” said Thomas Heymann, Deezer’s Head of Australia and New Zealand.

“We respect and enhance this connection that ultimately gives music fans around the world the most amazing access to artists. We will take the best of Australian music to the world!”

The new ad-funded free service, which will be going head-to-head against a similar offering launched by rival Spotify earlier this year, will be launched in Australia next week on Tuesday 11th December.

Deezer will also face stiff competition from the rebooted Myspace, helmed by Justin Timberlake, which according to a leaked investor document has big plans to challenge the established streaming music players by bringing to the table the world’s largest library of songs (an estimated 42 million) and exploiting their position as the only company in the world with global streaming rights.

To radically launch the service to a mass market audience, Deezer Australia will offer users up to twelve months of unlimited free music if they register before June 2013.

After the initial unlimited 12 month offering, users will receive two hours per month of free listening on PCs and laptops only, also providing users with a free one month trial of Premium+ (pc/laptop & mobile) upon mobile activation. This will assist in encouraging discovery on mobile and tablets.

Performances from four of Australia’s top independent artists – Flume, Urthboy, Bertie Blackman and Bento – were live streamed from last night’s launch at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory to around 160 countries taking some of Australia’s best and brightest to the world from Mexico to Turkey, Africa to Indonesia, Paris to London and Berlin.

Kicking off the night was a rocking performance from Silverchair drummer, Ben Gillies’ new side project, Bento, with four tracks from their debut album, Diamond Days, being the first to stream live in Australia and around the world.

The crowd at Oxford Art Factory and music fans watching the stream were then treated to one of Australia’s foremost independent artists, the ARIA Award winning, Bertie Blackman, performing tracks from her 4th studio album, Pope Innocent X (P.I.X.).

Next up it was Urthboy’s turn with cuts from Smokey’s Haunt, his most recent album which debuted at #1 on the ARIA Urban Album Chart. What can we say about Urthboy that hasn’t already been said? No matter which hat Tim Levinson wears – recording artist, band manager, label head or composer – he is without doubt a visionary and one of Australia’s most gifted entrepreneurs.

Last but certainly not least to take the stage and live video stream was current dance-wunderkind, Flume, playing tracks from his self-titled, recent Triple J album of the week.

Flume began making music at the tender age of 13 after finding a music production program in a cereal box and going on to win Triple J’s prestigious Unearthed competition to play Field Day 2012, Splendour In The Grass, Parklife, and now Deezer Australia’s official launch party.

Details of the Deezer free service roll out to the rest of the world is expected to be made in the coming days.

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