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Deezer shares plunge as French rival to Spotify makes market debut

PARIS (Reuters) -French music streaming platform Deezer failed to attract much investor interest for its Paris market debut seven years after its first flotation was aborted, with its shares dropping sharply in early dealing on Tuesday.

Deezer, whose larger rivals include Spotify, was down 27.15% at 0947 GMT at 6.00 euros per share, after opening at 8.50 euros.

Services like Deezer and its rivals represent a shift in the music industry away from buying and downloading tracks to listening online to songs stored remotely.

“The sector is super competitive,” DZ Bank analyst Manuel Muehl said. “There are multiple services – Amazon Prime, Apple Music etc – which are run by large U.S. companies with very deep pockets.”

“(They) can subsidise their business with other income streams, and therefore they do not depend on the success of their music-platforms unlike ‘pure-play’ companies do.”

The fall in shares did not stop French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire from praising Deezer for its stock market listing.

“@DeezerFR’s IPO is not only an economic and technological success, but it is also a cultural success,” Le Maire tweeted. “Defending Deezer is defending our culture… our musical heritage.”

Deezer announced its stock market listing in Paris in April in a deal valuing the business at just over 1 billion euros ($1 billion), with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), 12PO, set up for the deal.

It postponed previous IPO plans in 2015 due to market conditions.

($1 = 0.9600 euros)

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Clement Martinot, Ingrid Melander; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Jan Harvey)

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