7Digital Grabs WMG MP3's For Europe

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 by Mistlee

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7Digital Grabs WMG MP3's For Europe

By Bruce Houghton

7digital.com has become the first European download store to offer Warner Music Group label downloads as DRM free mp3's. Thus far Amazin has the exclusive in the US. 7digital is offering WMG mp3's in the UK, Ireland, Spain, France and Germany.

7digital.com and WMG International are also partnering to offer a range of digital music products including value-added album bundles that contain additional content. 7digital.com will build and maintain dedicated artist or label pages which Warner Music labels and artists can edit remotely in order to provide fans the latest offerings and artist-related updates. Amazon, iTunes and other download stores have been slow to add additional non-music content and none offer artist access to their page.

In 2007, 7digital.com saw year-on-year sales grow 188%, with DRM-free MP3 downloads out-selling other digital formats by almost four to one (where MP3 is offered alongside WMA and AAC). 7digital.com is also expanding overseas powered by a recent VC investment of 4.25 million.

7digital.com has launched a promotion making selected albums from Warner Music's catalog available for a limited period at a reduced 5/6.99.

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Ben Drury, CEO, 7digital.com, said "7digital.com is excited to be Warner Music's first major partner in Europe to bring MP3s to the marketplace. Our 1.2 million registered customer base has proved to us that MP3s sell very well and MP3 is currently the format of choice for digital media consumers. The addition of Warner Music's MP3 catalogue to 7digital.com means that over 80% of 7digital.com's 3.5 million track catalogue is now DRM-free. 7digital.com is committed to becoming the destination for MP3s and we plan to make our entire music catalogue available in DRM-free, high-quality MP3 format by summer 2008."

John Reid, Vice Chairman, WMI & President, Warner Music Europe, said "This deal will offer music fans a new level of flexibility in their use of tracks from our world-renowned artists. We believe that providing consumers with this assurance of interoperability will encourage sales of music downloads and ultimately help the development of new digital music experiences. This agreement will not only enhance 7digital.com's service and expand our digital footprint but also benefit artists and music fans alike."

Eric Daugan, Vice President, Digital Business, WMI, said "In 7digital.com we have an agile, innovative and growing partner who will offer us new, improved retail and promotional opportunities across key parts of Western Europe. We look forward to working with them to provide consumers with an even wider choice of content-rich digital products that will further deepen the relationship between our artists and their fans."


About the Author:
Bruce Houghton is a 25 year music industry veteran who owns booking agency Skyline Music and the tour marketing company Skyline Innovations.


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