7digital in deal to sell Warner music downloads in MP3

Warner Music International (WMI), a division of Warner Music Group and 7digital.com, a digital media delivery company, have announced that MP3 music audio downloads from Warner Music are now available to 7digital customers in the UK, Ireland, Spain, France and Germany. Beginning today, 7digital will be the first major European download store to offer Warner Music tracks in the MP3 file format, which is compatible with virtually any digital music device.

In addition, 7digital and Warner will work in partnership to offer a range of digital music products such as 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.

MacDailyNews Take: “Value-added album bundles.” As we’ve said many times, as recently as last November: The album is an artificial construct developed by the music cartels to get more of your money for less effort. The album is – plain and simple – a bundling technique. Take some marketable material, add a greater percentage of filler, call it an “album,” pretend it’s “art,” and charge more than you could charge for just the worthwhile bits. While some small percentage of artists throughout the history of the album construct have taken the concept to an art form and more than few music customers have bought so fully into the marketing construct as to defend it passionately today, that does not change the fact that the “album” is a product bundle designed to collect more money for the good stuff by bundling it with a greater percentage of filler.

7digital has launched a major promotion around Warner Music content, backed by an online marketing campaign. 7digital will make selected albums from Warner Music’s world-class repertoire available for a limited period at the price of £5/€6.99.

John Reid, Vice Chairman, WMI & President, Warner Music Europe, said in the press release, “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 the press release, “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.”

Ben Drury, CEO, 7digital.com, said in the press release, “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.”

Warner Music continues to grow its digital distribution footprint and diversify the services that it delivers to its artists across online and mobile platforms. Warner Music also has strategic partnerships in place that help it reach new audiences around the world including Asia, Latin America, Europe and Africa.

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). In order to meet the increasing demand for DRM-free downloads, 7digital.com is expanding overseas. A recent VC investment of £4.25 million will be used to expand 7digital.com’s offering internationally.

Source: 7digital.com

MacDailyNews Take: More good news: DRM-free is good and so is competition (if it’s any good at all). We just wish they’d use the superior AAC instead of the ancient MP3 format* for their DRM-free music.

We do not believe that Steve Jobs really cares if you buy tunes at 7digital or iTunes, as long as you don’t buy something encoded with Microsoft DRM and as long as you play it on Apple hardware (Macs, iPods, iPhones, Apple TV). It’d be nice if you used iTunes Store, as most people do (despite the existence already of MP3, DRM-free stores from the likes of Amazon), but buying from iTunes Store not at all essential to Apple’s success.

*AAC (Advanced Audio Coding codec or MPEG-4 Audio) provides higher-quality results with smaller file sizes and better decoding efficiency (requiring less processing power for decode) than the old MP3 format. More info here.

16 Comments

  1. As a musician, I can tell you, that the album is not a music cartel conspiracy. When used by a true studio musician and a good producer, the album is a complete piece of art comprised of its songs. To suggest that The White Album is not greater than the sum of its parts suggests extreme, and therefore unreliable, cynicism on your end. I do not, however, believe the consumer should not be able to buy a song from the album individually. I believe half of those disgusting CD profits comes from their limited lifespan, and if one song is scratching on my CD, I damn well want to be able to replace just that song. And with digital of course, as long as you back up, you only have to buy it once.

  2. I’ll also add that before purely digital music met smaller high-capacity storage, music had to come on its own storage unit, which would make selling singles not only impractical for the consumer
    (imagine how many MORE ugly CD racks you’d have had), but also produce many times more waste.

  3. “”Value-added album bundles.” As we’ve said many times, as recently as last November: The album is an artificial construct developed by the music cartels to get more of your money for less effor”

    ———————–

    And as I, and many others have said many times as well. Your take on this matter is nothing but a sad misunderstanding and shows lack of respect and appreciation for an album as a piece of art from true artists.

    I often agree with MDN takes.. However, we are on opposite ends of the spectrum on this one.

  4. h – overall MDN is correct, ‘Overall’ being the key word. I’ve DJed since the 80’s, and back then, most artists had to have a string of good selling singles to initiate an album. Nowadays a lot of ‘albums’ have 20 tracks, yet most are ‘filler’. Get with the times, go to iTunes, listen to clips of all the modern music and see for yourself. CD profits come from not ‘limited lifespan’ (hell I have 20 year old vinyl that sounds new), but from artificially raising the price because it was a ‘new format’ which it hasn’t been for a very long time. In the early 90’s, vinyl LP’s were $8, CD albums $20, yet CD albums stayed $20 up until about 2005, more than 10 years. It was designed to be highly profitable, by design. I bought over 500 songs from ITMS, all the best, which I could never have afforded in ‘CD days’ buying a expensive album, for 3 tracks. No offense to you friend, but music today has nothing to do with ‘musicians’ and everything to do with profit. Any musician who sees otherwise, needs to be on an indie label, and shouldn.t quit their day job. Yes, I am a ‘musician’ too, yet I’ve decided to adapt, by going indie, and embracing digital content delivery. . . . and not quitting my day job.

  5. This “bundling technique” idea only applies to crappy artists, which unfortunately describes the majority of major label acts. There are, however, hundreds of more talented artists that are capable of writing and recording album length concept pieces that deserve more respect than MDN seems willing to concede. I can think of dozens of albums off the top of my head that meet this criteria.

  6. “No offense to you friend, but music today has nothing to do with ‘musicians’ and everything to do with profit”

    —————

    Well that all depends on what you are listening to now doesn’t it?

    If Britney Spears and Janet Jackson are your taste, then yes, you’re correct.

    But if artists like Radiohead, Keane and Coldplay are your thing, then I beg to differ.

  7. @ Mike K
    “Your take on this matter is nothing but a sad misunderstanding and shows lack of respect and appreciation for an album as a piece of art from true artists.”

    A sad misunderstanding, and at the same time hilarious take, coming from someone who continues to use Harry Connick Jr.’s song “Blue Skys” on his website http://www.blueskycreative.com

    Hey Mike, did Harry ever get his royalty fees for each and every time his song has been played on your website?

  8. @Hyprocrisy Alert!

    Oh, I see. You just assumed that because that site was created by someone named “Michael Kaplan” that is was me, Mike K?

    Well, again, sorry. My name is Mike Kraemer.. MDN knows me well, I send them links regularly.

  9. Boy, you guys need to lighten up. LOL

    I am just waiting for more blood on iTunes ….er….toon wheel. LOL

    While I have nothing against other music sights, why try to learn how to use 4-5 sights when iTunes works so well. Plus, these new guys seem to ignore the Mac platform and only work 1/2 well on a PC.

    Hey, its the weekend and I am going to relax. And listen to some music on iTunes. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.