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Deezer prides itself in helping emerging artists get heard through the work of its editors. And it doesn’t rely purely on algorithms to make recommendations: over 20 % of the global team are employed to hunt out and recommend the best in new music, actively spreading the word across over 180 countries and breaking down the barriers of the old physical distribution systems. This year, Deezer is a partner of the new Midem Artist Accelerator with Pepsi.

We spoke to Sam Lee, editor UK and Ireland, to understand what he does and why he has one of the best jobs going.

 

midemblog: Tell us about your role at Deezer.

Sam Lee: I’m part of a team of around 50 Deezer editors across the world. We are responsible for personally curating and programming all of the editorial recommendations you see on Deezer, and I look after UK and Ireland.

 

> How do the editorial teams affect what we see on the Deezer platform?

We are constantly on the look out for the best new music and work with Label Relations to ensure it is on the service. The tracks that get suggested to you on Deezer are the result of our algorithm learning what you like and don’t like – serving you up new music from the editors and picking everything else from our huge library.

 

> Why do you think is important for digital services to have their own in-house editorial teams?

I think that in an age where you have access to millions and millions of tracks (currently 35 million on Deezer) the challenge is to make it as easy to use as possible to find new music and give people a helping hand with so much choice. Since launching in the UK in 2011, we’ve been able to build up a strong editorial voice for Deezer, and hopefully now people feel that they can trust our suggestions in the same way they would trust a respected music magazine or blog, which will help guide them in their search for new things to listen to.

 

> How important are playlists for driving listening on the platform?

Right now 37% of all daily streams on Deezer come via playlists, so they are hugely important to us and our users.

 

> How important are playlists for driving listening on the platform?

It’s hard to complain about any aspect of a job that involves listening to music for the majority of the day, but the most rewarding part is being in a position to bring amazing new artists to a wider audience.

 

> What are you top 5 albums of all time?

My Top 5 albums are: Parliament – Mothership ConnectionDavid Bowie – Station to StationThe War On Drugs – Lost In The DreamThe Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free and LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver.

 

Sam Lee is Deezer‘s editor UK & Ireland. Check out his LinkedIn here and his blog here.

Deezer, alongside Pepsi, is a partner of the Midem Artist Accelerator, a brand new initiative in which 14 up-and-coming groups are selected by an artistic committee — including Epic’s LA Reid, Harvey Goldsmith, Pitchfork’s Christopher Kaskie and many more — to play at Midem 2015 this June, and receive high-level advice and mentoring. Discover the finalists on the Midem Artist Accelerator page now!


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About Author

James Martin

James Martin is Head of Social Media for Midem organisers Reed MIDEM. This includes defining and rolling out Midem's social media strategy, editing midemblog, influencer outreach, developing Midem's fanbase of 75,000+ music professionals and more.

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