|Type of site||Music Streaming|
|Registration||Free, required for streaming, required to create playlists|
|Launched||Download site: April 2007
Streaming site: 11 November 2008
DJ service: September 2011
|Alexa rank||4,458,605 (March 2014[update])|
We7 (marketed as we7) was a free, advertising supported, music streaming service, with over 6.8 million tracks available for streaming in the UK and Ireland, with content from all four major record labels, and most independent labels and distributors. Most tracks and albums were also available to purchase from the in-site store. Limits were placed on content outside of the UK and Ireland. In June 2013, WE7 changed to blinkbox music.
Songs streamed on We7 were accompanied by a short audio advert, or blipvert, which played before each song. This was usually combined with a change in the advert on the page, with the intent of the audio advert drawing attention to the clickable advert.
The site claimed to have had 3 million tracks available for streaming at launch, claimed 500 thousand users and 3.5 million tracks in March 2009 and claimed to have had over 3 million users and 6.8 million tracks as of January 2011.
In June 2013, the We7 Android app was rebranded to 'blinkbox music'.
New DJ service
At the end of September 2011, We7 changed from an on demand service to a music DJ service. This opened up a new premium service offer as well as a new logo and site layout. This stopped the free choice of songs that was previously the We7 service and opened a recommended music player instead which plays related songs and artists. Free users get a 50 limit of requests to add to the radio queue. The idea behind this new redio system is stated in the How it Works section of the About Us page on We7. "We believe what you like is more important than what you know. So you don't have to trawl a massive catalogue - all you need to do is enter a single song, artist or genre to get started." When a user registers to the site, they will get unlimited music access and 50 song requests a month, however, We7 ran a promotion at launch where existing users at the time were given 50 per day. The old structure of the website can still be visited at subscription.we7.com but is only available to play the full tracks when the user subscribes to premium membership. Unfortunately, while this system is constantly being improved, a few accounts from the old system have yet to be converted, and as such, those accounts are currently being given premium services for nothing.
In October 2008, the site shifted focus to music streaming, initially with content from Sony BMG, including a change of design that integrated a persistent music player in the page, allowing the music to continue to play while users browse the site.
Since the full launch in November 2008, the site has had various promotions and exclusives. In February 2009 it partnered with NME to provide streaming music widgets on their article pages, and in March it introduced an exclusive 'listening party' preview of Dutch singer Alain Clark's debut UK single 'Father & Friend', followed by an exclusive version of his album the week after.
In March 2012, the company made a number of redundancies after the relaunched music DJ service led to a downturn in users and ad-revenue.
In May 2013, the company announced that it would be changing its' name to 'blinkbox music', within weeks.
The subscription service closed at the end of November 2013.
The main feature of the site was for streaming full tracks without requiring registration. However as of 2011, users have to register for free to listen to a song, otherwise just a 30 second preview is provided. Registration is also required for advanced features such as making playlists, and purchasing music. Due to technical problems, however, a small minority of visitors are getting full tracks for nothing.
On Wednesday 6 October 2010, We7 posted losses of £3.6 million. The company claimed that market conditions, the collapse of the banking sector and the ongoing nervousness of the music industry caused the losses. The Guardian had reported earlier in 2010 that We7 had become profitable, using adverts to cover both running costs and payments to labels, which made it the first music streaming company to do so with UK operations.
On 18 February 2010, We7 launched its iPhone App. Only users with a "premium plus" account are able to use the application. There was some criticism of the app, because the premium plus account was not launched until 1 March 2010. Premium plus accounts are no longer necessary to use the app.
On 20 September 2010, We7 launched its Android app. Only users with a "premium plus" account are able to use the application, although there is a free 2 week trial when first using the service. We7 later added a new update/new app to the Android Market which can be used by free accounts to access the radio station part of We7, but it still offers caching and users can cache stations; the service is called We7 Radio Plus.
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