Major labels are happy now to sell DRM-free music through retailers such as Amazon and 7Digital, but Apple remains locked out, with three of the four majors denying it permission to sell tracks DRM-free through its iTunes Plus service – even though it’s the largest US music retailer. But this may soon change.
We7 today confirmed it has signed up all the major labels to its ads-supported music service, matching SpiralFrog with a three million strong catalogue of music you can listen to for free on-demand, and even host on your blogs!
And here’s the proof – just click the Play button to hear ‘Karma Police’ right now, here on Distorted Loop, with a few ads which don’t seem to interfere with the experience. What’s your feedback?
The company confirmed it has recently signed or is signing an array of labels – EMI, Warner Music, Sony BMG, PIAS, The Orchard, Pinnacle and INgrooves – meaning all the majors bar Universal are on board.
This also means the company is broadening its catalogue, with the company informing, “We are uploading as many as 50,000 tracks a day, with more to come.”
The service has also seen an extensive re-design, and new features have been introduced to make sharing and blogging music from the service easier. There is also a new persistent music player at the top of each page, which means that as you browse around We7, your music continues to play.
We7 CEO and co-founder Steve Purdham is over the moon at achieving a BT Digital Music Award, but warns that the industry remains under threat – even at this stage in its evolution.
“The digital world is about to go through another upheaval with 1 billion streams on MySpace Music, We7 Launching in November and Apple threatening to pull the plug,” he said, speaking to Distorted Loop just in advance of the revelation of the royalty deal for publishing in the US announced last night.
Despite the hubbub of activity, Purdham thinks there’s still significant challenges to the development of the digital music industry.
“All of this activity shows two things, first the demand for digital music is outstanding and if allowed to flourish will build a very healthy business for artists, labels and fans alike,” he said, warning, “but at the same time the fundamental economics of the industry are still trying to kill off the opportunity rather that allowing it to grow.” Continue reading →
iTunes beat down 7digital, eMusic, Music Station and Napster to win the Best Music Store category.
We7 beat 7digital and Sellaband amongst others last night to win the Best Digital Music Service category, yet another highlight for the service which signed distribution deals with the Orchard this week, following on from deals made with Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music.
Radiohead won the Artists Of The Year award, while Coldplay won the Best Rock/Indie Artist award and their website, Coldplay.com, won the Best Official Music Website gong. Continue reading →
Peter Gabriel-backed ads-supported music service, We7, announced a second significant deal this morning – reaching an agreement with leading aggregator The Orchard to offer music from the labels it represents through We7.
This news means music handled by The Orchard will be made available for on-demand ad-funded download, streaming and mp3 sales. It’s highly significant as the move will bring 1.3 million tracks into the We7 service
The deal allows customers on the ad-funded music website access to The Orchard’s significant and diverse music offering, spanning international multi-platinum acts, cutting-edge breaking bands, and iconic and historically significant regional music.
We7, which recently signed EMI for its ad-supported streaming music service, now has a catalogue of over three million tracks. But the site claims that it is now a challenge for its users to discover new music based on tastes due to the huge choice available.
TheFilter.com’s integration into the We7 service will combat this problem by giving users access to its smart filtering tools. The tools use an advanced mathematical algorithm to filter out music that a user will not like and filter in content that reflects their taste. Continue reading →
UK musician Billy Bragg is furious at attempts by major labels and the music industry groups they dominate to prevent file-sharing, saying they don’t understand musicians, don’t understand fans, and don’t get the new age.
On suing file-sharers, he was incensed, “You know who the pirates are?” he thundered during the closing moments of EconMusic yesterday. “The pirates are our fans, when you sue our fans, you drive our fans away,” he yelled, arguing that the industry must change if it has any chance of survival.
What really annoys Bragg is that music labels demand the lion’s share of income from new start-ups and music services, “That’s my income stream you’re pissing with,” he exclaimed, urging labels to pay a higher percentage to artists in the digital age. Continue reading →