7digital beats iTunes to pan-Europe punch

7digitalUK online music service, 7digital, revealed a new pan-European deal with Warner Music this morning. Under the deal the online music service will now offer Warner Music’s MP3 catalogue across all its European outlets – that’s significant because it is in fact the first time a major has agreed a pan-European MP3 deal of this kind.

The UK-based service observes that this one deal makes it Europe’s largest MP3 retailer, in the sense that it offers tracks in more European countries than iTunes or Amazon.

The deal’s also a break for much in the news lately music streaming network, Spotify, along with other 7digital partners including Last.fm and Songbird. Services like Spotify can now direct users to 7digital for purchase of MP3 tracks, grabbing a percentage of the sale price.

From this month, 7digital stores in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Portugal will join those in UK, Ireland, Spain, Austria and Germany that are already stocked with MP3 downloads from Warner Music’s roster of local and international artists.  These eleven stores will be followed by further roll out from 7digital in additional countries across Europe.

Ben Drury, CEO 7digital said, “The completion of this deal gives us the broadest European reach of any MP3 download store. We have seen a dramatic rise in digital album sales since switching to a 100% MP3 catalogue in the UK last September and this is a natural progression to that trend. As well as providing music fans access to high quality MP3 downloads, the deal provides our partners with the capacity to target a wider consumer audience across Europe.

“Using our API, services like Spotify will be able to make one-click downloads a reality, meaning users will only be one step away from owning an MP3 of their favourite track. Multiple click purchasing is a big barrier for consumers, and this is the kind of issue we’re aiming to overcome to drive MP3 sales in Europe.”

Eric Daugan, Senior Vice President, Digital Business, Warner Music Europe, said, “Music fans are now enjoying a whole spectrum of ways to engage with artists online but often they still want to own the music they discover and love as well as play it on their portable device. We’re pleased to be working with 7digital to further expand access to high quality, interoperable music downloads in Europe as well as through 7digital’s network of partners such as Spotify create versatile fan experiences where consumers can quickly and easily collect immersive products from our world-class roster of established and up-and-coming artists.”

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