7digital, music downloads done right?

7digital logoMore evidence that the music industry might finally be ‘getting it’ came with last week’s announcement by 7digital of its revamped music download service. Not only is the company moving towards DRM-free mp3 downloads (which, thanks to a recent deal with EMI, now account for over 50% of its catalogue), but has also introduced a ‘locker’ feature whereby purchased tracks and videos are accessible by users “from anywhere with an Internet connection”. Additionally, if for some reason you lose your original paid-for downloads, through a hard drive failure for example, you’re free to re-download those tracks at no extra cost. For me, this is a must have feature that the market leader, Apple’s iTunes, sorely lacks.

7digital store

Also differentiating itself from iTunes, 7digital’s DRM-free tracks are offered as 320kbps MP3s — which is pretty close to CD quality. And unlike Apple’s iTunes Plus, 7digital doesn’t charge a premium for the privilege of having your music DRM-free or encoded at a higher bit-rate.

Finally, and perhaps my favourite aspect of the service, is 7digital’s DIY indiestore whereby unsigned artists can sell their music via the 7digital platform. Once again trumping iTunes — where it takes a cumbersome ‘middle man’ process to get your music into Apple’s store. 7digital also has a partnership with social network, Bebo (which is particularly popular in the UK), so that unsigned bands can get their music promoted and sold on the site’s millions of user profiles.

Related post: Amazon to challenge iTunes

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

6 Responses to “7digital, music downloads done right?”

  1. Matt Eber says:

    I agree that the music locker feature is a great idea. There is a site that lets independent bands sell their music online that offers this same feature at http://www.indiefy.com. Hopfully this will become more common as a feature.

  2. DRM-free music? Lockers where you can upload, sideload and access all your music from anywhere with a web connection?

    Oh yeah, MP3Tunes has done that for a LONG time with its Oboe service. Before that, it was the core technology behind my.mp3.com – which the industry basically got shut down because they couldn’t see far enough ahead to understand future trends.

    So, 7Digital’s doing good, but they’re by no means the first people to try this.

  3. Steve O'Hear (editor) says:


    I agree, 7digital haven’t pioneered these ideas, but they are great features to copy.

  4. Have to agree with you on that one 😉

  5. Ted Danson says:

    fantastic read, thanks

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