7digital

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7digital Group Plc
Public - LSE:7DIG
Industry Music and Radio
Founded January 2004
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Number of locations
5
Area served
44 countries
Key people
Simon Cole, Pete Downton, Ben Drury, Stephen Somerville, Gunnar Larsen, Raoul Chatterjee, Paul Langworthy, Paul Shannon, Jill Levene, Chris Dent, John Leonard and Catherine Ponzini
Services download stores, white label music solutions, API, production, streaming music services, radio services, voucher promotions, loyalty schemes
Number of employees
125
Subsidiaries Entertainment News, Unique The Production Company, Smooth Operations, Unique Interactive, Above The Title
Website Corporate Site

7digital Group Plc is a publicly listed digital music and radio services platform. 7digital offers both B2B services for digital media partners as well as 7digital branded direct to consumer (D2C) music download stores.

7digital's platform and API have been used to power digital music services for businesses like Guvera,[1] Onkyo,[2] Rok Mobile,[3] Samsung,[4] BlackBerry,[5] and HMV. 7digital's group companies Smooth Operations, Unique Production and Above The Title, produce independent content for broadcasters like BBC Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 3.

7digital music download stores are available globally and have major label catalogue in over 40 countries. They also have a mobile web-store, smartphone apps for Android, BlackBerry 10 devices, Firefox OS, Windows and iOS.

History[edit]

7digital was founded in January 2004 by Ben Drury and James Kane, as a B2B digital music services company, building music download stores for record labels, brands and other retailers. 7digital Direct to Consumer (D2C) service was launched in 2005.

7digital is backed by technology venture capital firm Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Capital Europe). On January 28, 2008 7digital raised £4.25m in its series B investor round, securing investment from various groups including Sutton Place Managers. The investment was to be used to launch 7digital.com in more European countries and the United States,[6] along with expanding the sites offerings to include downloadable video and computer games.[7]

In September 2008 7digital.com was the first company in Europe to launch DRM-free MP3 downloads with all four major record labels.[8]

As of October 2008, 7digital employed 45 people in London and had over 1.3 million registered customers.[9]

On 3 August 2009, HMV bought a 50% holding in 7digital from its venture capital owners.[10]

In 2011, 7digital expanded with an office in Luxembourg and in early 2012 they expanded to the US with an office in San Francisco, CA.[11]

In October 2012, 7digital secured $10 Million in funding from two new investors, Dolby and Imagination Technologies.[12] HMV's stake was previously reduced to less than 20%,[13] and following HMV entering into administration, retail restructuring specialists Hilco, are now the holders of these shares.

On 25 November 2013, UBC Media announced merger plans with 7digital by way of a reverse takeover.[14][15] The merger was completed in May 2014, forming 7digital Group Plc.[16]

Partnerships[edit]

7digital's agnostic platform is used for building products on any type of connected device. Partners have included Samsung, Yahoo, Sirius, HMV, T-Mobile and the BBC.

Guvera[edit]

In July 2014 the Australian-based streaming service Guvera, announced that it was launching into various territories in Asia and the Middle East using 7digital's API.[17] Guvera offers on-demand and ad-supported radio streaming services in a number of territories. Partnering with 7digital allowed Guvera marked the first time entry to Middle Eastern markets for both Guvera and 7digital. The 7digital-powered Guvera service launched through App stores and as a pre-load on Lenovo smartphones and tablets. On 10 November 2014, Guvera announced that it had launched its streaming service in India.[18]

Spanish Broadcasting System[edit]

In September 2014 it was announced that SBS will partner with 7digital to launch new digital streaming services.[19] 7digital’s API and infrastructure will provide La Musica, SBS' online Latin music, entertainment and news destination, with content management technology and a royalty reporting system to support additional music products beyond the site's current radio station streaming offering.

Samsung[edit]

Samsung selected 7digital as the strategic partner for Music Hub version 1.0. This version of Music Hub provided downloads and synchronisation for offline use. The relationship continued with the replacement of Music Hub 1 by the parallel launch of Music Hub 2.0 and 3.0 dependent on the territory that the handset was designated for. In 2012 with the launch of Samsung Galaxy S3 devices in Europe [20] and North America the Music Hub has begun to include subscription streaming alongside their music downloads. 7digital pre-install is also available on Samsung Galaxy S4.[21]

BlackBerry[edit]

BlackBerry and 7digital first worked together on a download app for their Playbook tablet back in 2010, since then both companies have continued to work closely together on various applications, including 7digital branded Smartphone apps for their OS 7 devices and more recently replacement of the Blackberry World Music Store for a 7digital branded application for Blackberry 10 users.[22]

In 2012 BlackBerry began development on a new white labeled service called BlackBerry World which was built using the 7digital API. The service was purpose built to run on their new OS (QNX) which would feature on their newly launched Z10 and Q10 smartphones. The service rolled-out from January 2013 and is live in 18 countries. It offers high-quality MP3 music downloads to BlackBerry customers directly via their BB10 device and also via web-based stores. The launch of the service in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and South Africa also established 7digital's presence in these new emerging markets.[23]

HMV[edit]

7digital is independent of their business since significant investment they received in 2012. Re-launched in October 2013, HMVdigital.com is an à la carte download store, available both online and on mobile, supported by a desktop and locker management application. 7digital provides all back-end technology, user account and billing systems alongside catalogue management and licensing. Mobile apps feature sound and image recognition functionality, simplifying the path to finding and buying music. 7digital enabled HMV to simultaneously launch across five platforms, with plans for international expansion to numerous territories.[24]

Ubuntu One Music Store/Canonical[edit]

7digital collaborated with Canonical Ltd. to provide the Ubuntu One Music Store in the Ubuntu Operating System starting from Ubuntu 10.04.[25]

On 2 April 2014 Canonical announced the closure of all of the Ubuntu One file services.[26]

Spotify[edit]

Spotify users from the UK, France, Norway, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands and Sweden were able to purchase tracks to download (if available) from 7digital.[27] This was done by right-clicking and selecting the 'Buy From' link. However, Spotify launched their own purchase service during 2011 which replaced 7digital.[28]

Other[edit]

In October 2014, it was announced that 7digital would work with will.i.am [29] for his new wearable smart device.

In November 2014, 7digital partners Technics launched ‘Technics Tracks’, a new premium Hi-Resolution audio service.[30]

7digital.com[edit]

7digital offers music tracks in MP3 320, 256, M4A, 16-bit and 24-bit FLAC audio.[31]

7digital has apps for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows, and Firefox OS operating systems as well as a mobile-optimized store available on any device.

The 7digital mobile app is pre-installed on devices through partnerships with Acer,[32] HTC,[33] Samsung, BlackBerry, Pioneer,[34] HP, Dell, and Sonos.

The 7digital music download stores run weekly localised promotions, with discounts on new albums and catalogue titles, weekly free track promotions and editorial features. 7digital.com stores have local currency, language and catalogue throughout Europe, North America and parts of Asia Pacific.

7digital stores the users music, via the 7digital Locker, allowing access to previous purchases, from any device. Users can then download these music purcahses to their device or stream from their 7digital Locker. Locker streaming is also available on wireless Sonos devices.

Launched in 2004, 7digital.com is one of the UK's first digital music download stores.[35] Its catalogue hosts digital music tracks with a bit-rate of 320kbp plus, from the major record labels and independent music aggregators.

7digital's Indiestore launched in early 2006, and allowed unsigned artists and independent labels create their own digital music download store for free.[36] The Indiestore was discontinued in 2010.[37] 7digital directs independent artists to work with independent aggregators, where they will be able to service their music to a variety of music retailers.[38]

As of Summer 2014, the catalogue consists of more than 30 million tracks.[citation needed]

In December 2014, 7digital became the first music platform to adopt Meridian Audio's high-quality MQA format for streaming/downloads.[39]

Geographical availability[edit]

Global availability of 7digital, as of November 2014

As of February 2013, 7digital is available in 42 countries.[40]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Malt, Andy (11 June 2014). "Guvera partners with 7digital". Complete Music Update. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Cox, Joe (2 June 2014). "Onkyo and 7digital to Launch high-res Music Store in Europe and US". Whit Hi Fi. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Hart, Tina (12 June 2013). "7digital partners with ROK Mobile Music Network". Music Week. 
  4. ^ Summers, Nick (15 March 2013). "Open music platform firm 7digital to power the Music Hub app on Samsung’s Galaxy S4". The Next Web. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Santos, Alexis (18 October 2012). "RIM taps 7Digital to power official BB10 music store". Engadget. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "7digital Agrees Terms of $8.5 Million Investment to Capitalise on Rising Digital Media Demand" (Press release). 7digital. 28 January 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2008. 
  7. ^ Gibson, Owen (28 January 2008). "UK iTunes rival 7digital to hit US and Europe". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 29 January 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2008. 
  8. ^ Schofield, Jack (16 September 2008). "7digital brings more DRM-free MP3 music downloads to the UK". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Ben Drury — CEO & Founder, 7Digital". MusicTank. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "HMV takes 50% stake in 7digital". BBC. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  11. ^ Houghton, Bruce (6 June 2012). "7digital Expands U.S. Team With Key Hires From eMusic, Apple, IODA, Rightsflow". hypebot.com. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Music Platform 7digital Nabs $10 Million In Funding To Expand Its Profitable Activities". Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "7digital boss says HMV administration will not affect business". Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "UBC Media to buy 7digital Group". Yahoo! Finance. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Deans, Jason (25 November 2013). "7Digital lines up reverse takeover of UBC Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  16. ^ Cooke, Chris (21 May 2014). "7digital merger with UBC complete". Complete Music Update. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Peoples, Glenn (31 July 2014). "Guvera Follows Spotify, Others Into Asia". Billboard. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  18. ^ Cooke, Chris (10 November 2014). "Guvera launches in India". Complete Music Update. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  19. ^ Stassen, Murray (30 September 2014). "7digital pens deal with Spanish Broadcasting System for radio streaming platform LaMusica.com". Music Week. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  20. ^ Owen, Ed (2 August 2012). "7Digital and Samsung Team Up for Free Music Streaming". Mobile Marketing. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Pakinkis, Tom (15 March 2013). "7digital to be pre-installed on Samsung Galaxy S4". Music Week. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  22. ^ "BlackBerry and 7digital strike deal to launch new music service". The Guardian. December 2014. 
  23. ^ "RIM taps 7Digital to power official BB10 music store". Engadget. December 2014. 
  24. ^ "7digital to power HMV's digital music services in Canada". Music Week. December 2014. 
  25. ^ "UbuntuOne Music Store: How a music service should be". Tech Republic. December 2014. 
  26. ^ Silber, Jane (2 April 2014). "Shutting down Ubuntu One file services". Canonical. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  27. ^ MacLean, Allan (11 April 2009). "Spotify's free music model — binge until your ears are fat!". Daily Music Guide. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  28. ^ "7digital Founder: Spotify has been planning its own download service for over a year". The Next Web. December 2014. 
  29. ^ White, Anna (12 October 2014). "Will.i.am to go head to head with Apple in smart watch battle". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  30. ^ http://about.7digital.com/news/technics-launches-%E2%80%98technics-tracks%E2%80%99-new-premium-hi-resolution-audio-service%7Cdate=November 2014
  31. ^ Lamkin, Paul (10 August 2011). "7digital targets audiophiles with FLAC Format downloads". Pocket-lint. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  32. ^ Sawers, Paul (10 December 2012). "7digital’s MP3 download app will come pre-installed on Acer’s Windows 8 machines". The Next Web. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  33. ^ Murphy, David (19 April 2013). "7digital Apps Gets HTC One Preload". Mobile Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  34. ^ "7digital Brings High Quality Music into the Dashboard Through the Pioneer AppRadio Platform" (Press release). Racepoint Group UK. Reuters. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  35. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/6284797/7digital-was-always-meant-to-be-a-complete-media-marketplace.html
  36. ^ Hartley, Adam (5 June 2008). "Unsigned indie bands find fame with 7digital: 7digital’s indiestore features over 50,000 indie artists". TechRadar. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  37. ^ http://systemculture.com/blog/more-free-mp3s/
  38. ^ http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/unsigned-indie-bands-find-fame-with-7digital-384170
  39. ^ "7digital announces high quality audio strategy with new Meridian MQA format". December 2014. 
  40. ^ Wauters, Robin (22 February 2013). "Digital music platform 7digital expands to Brazil, India and other markets; now licensed in 42 countries". The Next Web. Retrieved 2 December 2014.