On the 31st floor of the Centre Point building in central London we held our annual update event today.
Ben Drury, 7digital’s CEO, outlined a number of exciting announcements, not only our portfolio of mobile apps and services, but also new partnerships from the Consumer Electronics market.
Ben provided a review of the last 12 months, we have been busy, here are some of the headlines:
- We now have coverage in 30 countries
- Over 11m tracks in our catalogue
- HMV took a 50% stake in 7digital last year
- HMV Digital, powered by 7digital, launched in the UK and Canada
- Launched ebook delivery for Waterstone’s. We can process and deliver ePUB and PDF files
- New partners over the past 12 months include Spotify, Virgin Mobile (Canada), Winamp, Pure and many more.
Joining Ben on stage was Mark Oliver, Chief Executive of O&O who provided an overview of the media and technology market, and the
Ben Drury speaking to the audience about the amazing year 7digital has had.
emerging trends as we transition from web 1.0 to 2.0, outlining the steps the market is taking – an acceleration in technology (Moore’s law doesn’t seem to apply any more!), the macro revenue challenge and the impact on content as we move to greater connectivity across multiple devices and platforms.
Also joining Ben was Graeme Simons, Business Manager, Digital Products at Toshiba. Graeme provided an overview of the Toshiba Folio tablet and the music service 7digital is powering.
Today was about new announcements, and we had a lot of them. Again, here are the headlines:
- The brand new Samsung GALAXY Tab music hub is powered by the 7digital API. We genuinely feel the GALAXY Tab is a real contender against the iPad
- Toshiba’s new Folio 100 tablet has the the 7digital API at the heart of its music service
- We are now O2′s digital music partner for the UK across multiple platforms – PC, mobile and connected devices.
But it’s not all about tablet PCs and smartphones, recently Pure announced its FlowSongs music service for its Internet radios, such as the Sensia. It too uses our API along with Shazam’s to create a unique identify, tag and buy service.
There was an update on the BlackBerry app we launched last year. We are the number 1 music store on BlackBerry, we now have over 500,000 installs, the app is available in 20 countries, it supports touchscreen and keyboard models and we are now in a partnership with Shazam.
But we no longer just have the BlackBerry app. Ling Khor, 7digital’s Consumer Product Manager, joined the stage to formally announce a new raft of mobile services which means we now have the most comprehensive mobile offering in the market. First was our mobile optimised web store, which is a browser based service accessible on most modern phones as it is mobile OS agnostic, is HTML5 forward compatible for previewing music clips in the browser, scales for tablets and allows users to access their previously purchased tracks. Available today at http://m.7digital.com
We also launched our Android app, which is available in the Android market today. Like our BlackBerry app you can choose whether to download over the air or via Wi-Fi, browse, download and play your 7digital purchases. It also scales up for use on Android tablets, such as the Samsung GALAXY Tab.
We also briefly previewed our new 7digital.com site, which is currently undergoing significant development. More information will become available over the coming months.
Everything we demonstrated today at the event is built on 7digital’ s open API architecture. We’ve seen a massive increase in the use of our API. There are now over 120 active clients and we’re close to 50 million hits on the API per month and it continues to grow! We believe in openness and we believe that great value will be created by giving a broad range companies and individuals access to the world’s music in a structured and licensed basis. We want to enable the next Spotify or Last.fm to exist without having to burn through tens of millions of pounds. For more information on our API visit the developer site.
Just one more thing… a look at the future.
Image recognition mixed with search technology has been around for some time now and we’ve recently been working on our own implementation with Mobile Acuity. Mark Unsworth, Commercial and Strategic Product Manager, outlined the new product which is based on top of the 7digital API and is an Android based application that allows users to take a photograph with a smartphone or tablet and have the album details returned back to the device. Now, we know this has already been done with CD covers, but we’ll go one better, by allowing users to be able to listen to the preview clips from that album.
But we still wanted to think a bit bigger and we think that we can make music advertising more interactive by allowing users to use magazines, billboards, fly posters and bus hoardings to find music and then purchase it. More on this soon!
Well, that was this year’s's event. We’ll see you next year!