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Interview With Steve Purdham, CEO Of We7 : "We Will Expand Beyond Non-Music Audio"

We caught up with Steve Purdham, CEO of online music company We7, ahead of the launch of its new personal radio mobile music service which allows people to listen to free music without any connections and chatted with him about the future of We7 and online music services.

Steve, How is We7 doing?

Brilliantly we have just expanded into Ireland and expect expansion into multiple European countries during 2011.

Can you tell us more about the background to the announcement by we7?

The driver is that people love music but radio form is easier for people to grasp and enjoy as it doesn't need effort. Plus mobile is the future entertainment device, but unreliable connections or no data tariffs is a barrier to acceptance. So put the two together - personal radio which doesn't rely on the quality of connection with growth of mobiles and you have the background.

Is we7 changing its business model, moving from the crowded track selling market to the less crowded music streaming one?

Streaming will become crowded - but no this is more about following what the consumers want with the changes of technology and making it simple and portable.

How does the radio app work?

1) personal radio so you tell us artists you love we do the rest or choose from great editorial based radio stations

2) personal stations can be saved so we will allow up to 10 preset personal stations to be available any time you press play. This is done using sophisticated buffeting and caching techniques and also refreshing algorithms that make sure that you radio station continues to have new stuff that is right for you.

Are the network operators giving we7 a favourable tariff?

We don't need one that is the beauty of the new radio app, it can be configured to not have to use any of the data tariff making it a great app for everyone including PAYG and PAYM with or without data tariffs.

Why do you think you will succeed where others have failed?

Persistence, passion and making services that people want.

Do you plan to get the service to other territories outside Europe?

Yes, we have just launched in Ireland and expect to launch in a number of European regions in the next four months.

Do you have any plans in the future to branch out in other media in the future (gaming, TV shows)?

Not yet, but we do intend to expand into non music audio (ed : that could mean audiobooks).

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.