The UK music service WE7 launched in the UK April 2007 as a download site, then shifted focus in November 2008 to streaming music. In February 2010 WE7 embraced the freemium business model by offering an advert-free service for a monthly subscription. The service claims over 3 million users and 6.8 million tracks for streaming in the UK and since January 2011, Ireland.
WE7’s founder investor is Peter Gabriel. Yes, the British pop icon. The service was set up in 2006 by John Taysom. Peter Gabriel and chief executive Steve Purdham came in as founder investors the following year when the service launched. Gabriel recently added more funds to the venture, along with Eden Ventures, Qualcomm and Pentech Ventures and is looking to expand into Europe. Since June 2011 WE7 is the first, legal streaming music service in Belgium.
One of WE7’s major competitors is Spotify, who provides a full on-demand service. However, WE7 believes in less choice and adjusted their services accordingly recently, making WE7 a personalized radio-style service. In a skype-interview with paidContent.org last autumn, WE7 CEO Steve Purdham said “I thought the ultimate music service was one where you get to choose,” but that the experience from their users have been otherwise: “Actually, users are saying, ‘I can’t be bothered, just entertain me’.”