LONDON--Online music platform Deezer has called in Blue Rubicon to support its global expansion, as it steps up plans to compete with key rival Spotify.

Blue Rubicon secures the brief following a competitive review that took place earlier this year. 

The appointment comes as Deezer announces ambitious expansion plans, following a $130m funding round from Warner Music Group owner Access Industries. The one-year old French company is to expand into 76 more countries, bringing the total to 160, and is launcing a new free version of its music streaming service.

Blue Rubicon is charged with building a global, music-led brand, and driving consumer awareness and uptake worldwide. 

The firm will oversee corporate reputation management and worldwide influencer engagement, and will also be responsible for developing and implementing corporate and consumer campaigns and coordinating a network of agencies worldwide. 

The agency reports to Deezer international PR director Julie Harari-West, who was appointed in the summer having worked previously at Weber Shandwick and at the international record industry trade association IFPI. 

Launched as the first software-free music subscription service, Deezer has grown to offer a choice of 20 million tracks and has attracted seven million active monthly users.

In recent months, Deezer's rivals have also tapped PR support. Spotify has hired M&C Saatchi, while Napster is working with CCgroup.

“We selected Blue Rubicon as our lead global agency because we felt that they truly understood our business and our aspirations," said Harari-West.  

"As we look to use our new funding to accelerate our rollout across the world, our global marketing and communications effort will be absolutely key to driving take-up and building our brand awareness in new markets."