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|Public - LSE: 7DIG|
|Industry||Music and Radio|
|Headquarters||69 Wilson Street, London EC2A 2BB,|
Number of locations
|85 countries (July 2015)|
|John Aalbers (CEO)|
Julia Hubbard (CFO)
|Services||white-label music solutions, API, music download stores, production, streaming music services, radio services, voucher promotions, loyalty schemes|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||Entertainment News, Unique The Production Company, Smooth Operations, Unique Interactive, Above The Title|
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 such as Guvera, Onkyo,Samsung, BlackBerry, HMV, musical.ly & Technics. 7digital's group companies Smooth Operations, Unique Production and Above The Title are now branded 7digital Creative, producing 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.
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 28 January 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, along with expanding the sites offerings to include downloadable video and computer games.
In October 2012, 7digital secured $10 million in funding from two new investors, Dolby and Imagination Technologies. HMV's stake was previously reduced to less than 20%, and following HMV entering into administration, retail restructuring specialists Hilco, are now the holders of these shares.
The company entered a business relationship with MediaMarktSaturn in 2017 which it ended in 2019 in exchange for a cash payment of €4 million. The end of the partnership led to a need for 7digital to raise capital by the third quarter of 2019 to remain operational. The share price fell in response to these developments, with a loss of 63% on 9 April and further losses on 10 April 2019.
In Jan 2016 it was announced that 7digital would be partnering with eMusic to power the digital music platform following its re-launch. Under this arrangement, eMusic will access its licensed content for customers through the 7digital catalog.
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. 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. They shut down in May 2017.
In June 2014, it was announced that 7digital were contracted to power a hi-res music service for Japanese hi-fi manufacturer Onkyo. Thes stopped the service on 6 October 2019.
Spanish Broadcasting System
In September 2014 it was announced that SBS will partner with 7digital to launch new digital streaming services. 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.
In November 2014 it was announced that Panasonic had launched a new 7digital-powered hi-res music service under their recently re-launched Technics brand. The service, called Technics Tracks revealed there would be tens of thousands of 24-bit 192 kHz songs, hundreds of thousands of 24-bit FLAC tracks, and many millions of 16-bit 44.1 kHz songs. They shut down the Service in 2019.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 provided all back-end technology, user account and billing systems alongside catalogue management and licensing. Mobile apps featured 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.
Ubuntu One Music Store/Canonical
On 2 April 2014 Canonical announced the closure of all of the Ubuntu One file services.
Spotify users from the UK, France, Norway, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands and Sweden were able to purchase tracks to download (if available) from 7digital. This was done by right-clicking and selecting the 'Buy From' link. However, Spotify launched their own purchase service during 2011 which replaced 7digital.
Alongside its B2B digital music services business, 7digital offers music tracks direct to consumers in MQA, MP3 320, 256, M4A, 16-bit and 24-bit FLAC audio.
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 user's music, via the 7digital Locker, allowing access to previous purchases from any device. Users can then download these music purchases 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. 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. The Indiestore was discontinued in 2010. 7digital directs independent artists to work with independent aggregators, where they will be able to service their music to a variety of music retailers.
As of July 2015, 7digital operated in 82 countries. On 19 May 2017 7digital announced the sudden closure of its EU store[permanent dead link]. After this, the service is still accessible from 20 countries.
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