Blinkbox Music

Last updated

Blinkbox Music
Blinkbox Music logo.png
Type of site
Music streaming
Owner Guvera
Revenue Advertising, subscription
Alexa rankDecrease2.svg 308,439 (April 2014) [1]
RegistrationFree, required for streaming, required to create playlists
LaunchedApril 2007 (as We7)
May 2013 (as Blinkbox Music)
Current statusAdministration

Blinkbox Music (formerly We7) was a free, advertising supported, music streaming service, with over 12 million tracks available for streaming in the UK and Ireland, with content from all four major record labels, and most independent labels and distributors.

Contents

It was founded by former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel and tech entrepreneur Steve Purdham, who had previously co-founded and built his previous company SurfControl PLC. Senior management included Gareth Reakes, Russell Chadwick and music executive Clive Gardiner.

Songs streamed on Blinkbox Music were accompanied by a short audio advert, or blipvert, which plays before each song. This was usually combined with a change in the advert on the page, with the intent of the audio advert drawing attention to the clickable advert.

We7 reached 500,000 users and 3.5 million tracks in March 2009 [2] and 3 million users and 6.8 million tracks in January 2011. [3]

In June 2012, We7 was acquired by UK retailer Tesco for £10.8 million [4] and was rebranded under the Blinkbox name in May 2013. [5]

Tesco sold the service to Guvera in January 2015. [6] Blinkbox Music was placed in administration in June 2015. [7]

In October 2015, the former employees of Blinkbox Music filed a £10m class action lawsuit against Guvera. [8]

History

We7 logo until 2013 We7-logo-web.gif
We7 logo until 2013

We7 originally launched as a music download service in June 2007, [9] [10] with 3 million tracks available to stream from launch. [11]

In October 2008, the site shifted focus to music streaming, [12] initially with content from Sony BMG, [13] including a change of design that integrated a persistent music player in the page, allowing the music to continue to play while users browse the site.

Since the full launch in November 2008, the site has had various promotions and exclusives. In February 2009 it partnered with NME to provide streaming music widgets on their article pages, [14] and in March it introduced an exclusive 'listening party' preview of Dutch singer Alain Clark's [15] debut UK single "Father & Friend", followed by an exclusive version of his album the week after.

In February 2010 We7 embraced the freemium business model by offering an advert-free service for a monthly subscription. [16]

At the end of September 2011, We7 changed from an on demand service to a music DJ service. This opened up a new premium service offer as well as a new logo and site layout. This stopped the free choice of songs that was previously the We7 service and opened a recommended music player instead which plays related songs and artists. Free users had a 50 limit of requests to add to the radio queue.

In March 2012, the company made a number of redundancies after the relaunched music DJ service led to a downturn in users and ad-revenue. [17]

In May 2013, the company announced that it would be changing its name to Blinkbox Music, within weeks.

The subscription service closed at the end of November 2013.

As of 2015 Blinkbox music is now in Administration after being bought by the Australian company Guvera [18]

Features

The main feature of the site was for streaming full tracks without requiring registration. However as of 2011, users have to register for free to listen to a song, otherwise just a 30-second preview is provided. Registration is also required for advanced features such as making playlists, and purchasing music. Due to technical problems, however, a small minority of visitors are getting full tracks for nothing.

The site also has an editorial section titled the 'Magazine', which has featured interviews with artists and occasionally runs competitions, such as the recent Metro Station competition. [19]

Financial performance

On 6 October 2010, We7 posted losses of £3.6 million. [20] The company claimed that market conditions, the collapse of the banking sector and the ongoing nervousness of the music industry caused the losses. The Guardian had reported earlier in 2010 that We7 had become profitable, using adverts to cover both running costs and payments to labels, which made it the first music streaming company to do so with UK operations. [21]

Mobile applications

On 18 February 2010, We7 launched its iPhone App. Only users with a "premium plus" account were able to use the application. There was some criticism of the app, because the premium plus account was not launched until 1 March 2010. Premium plus accounts are no longer necessary to use the app. The app has been rebranded and is now known as Blinkbox Music.

On 20 September 2010, We7 launched its Android app. Only users with a "premium plus" account are able to use the application, although there is a free 2 week trial when first using the service. [22] We7 later added a new update/new app to the Android Market which can be used by free accounts to access the radio station part of We7, but it still offers caching and users can cache stations; the service was called We7 Radio Plus. The app has been rebranded and is now known as Blinkbox Music.

Related Research Articles

Pandora Media, LLC is an American music streaming and automated music recommendation internet radio service powered by the Music Genome Project and headquartered in Oakland, California. The service, owned by Sirius XM Holdings, is available in the United States. The service plays songs that have similar musical traits. The user then provides positive or negative feedback for songs chosen by the service, and the feedback is taken into account in the subsequent selection of other songs to play. The service can be accessed either through a web browser or with its mobile app. Pandora is a freemium service; basic features are free with advertisements or limitations, while additional features, such as improved streaming quality, music downloads and offline channels are offered via paid subscriptions.

All 4 video on demand service from Channel Four Television Corporation

All 4 is a video on demand service from the Channel Four Television Corporation, free of charge for most content and funded by advertising. The service is available in the UK and Ireland, and viewers are required to have a TV licence when watching live, but not when using on demand services. The service launched on 16 November 2006 as 4oD. The service offers a variety of programmes recently shown on Channel 4, E4, More4, Film4 and 4Music and shorts. However some programmes and movies are not available due to rights issues, and the service is incapable of streaming in resolutions greater than 576p. The service may be used without registration; however, (free) registration provides some additional features. The service is available without advertising on payment of a subscription, under the name All 4+.

LiveXLive

LiveXLive is a music streaming platform, combining audio and video, available in the US and Canada. Users can access the service on the web, through mobile apps on smartphones and on OTT devices. It allows users to create and share customized music stations. LiveXLive allows users to customize one of their programmed stations or start with music similar to an artist or song, and then customize that. Currently, LiveXLive powered by Slacker has 420 expert-curated music stations.

Amazon Music Amazon.coms online music store

Amazon Music is a music streaming platform and online music store operated by Amazon. Launched in public beta on September 25, 2007, in January 2008 it became the first music store to sell music without digital rights management (DRM) from the four major music labels, as well as many independents. All tracks were originally sold in 256 kilobits-per-second variable bitrate MP3 format without per-customer watermarking or DRM; however, some tracks are now watermarked. Licensing agreements with recording companies restrict the countries in which the music can be sold.

Deezer is a French online music streaming service. It allows users to listen to music content from record labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group on various devices online or offline. Created in Paris, France, Deezer currently has 56 million licensed tracks in its library, with over 30,000 radio channels, 14 million monthly active users, and 7 million paid subscribers as of January 2019. The service is available for Web, Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry OS, Windows, and MacOS.

Spotify Music streaming service

Spotify is a Swedish music streaming and media services provider. It is operated by Spotify AB, which is publicly traded in the NYSE through Luxembourg-domiciled holding company Spotify Technology S.A., itself a constituent of the Russell 1000 Index. Spotify's main headquarters is in Stockholm, Sweden and its Corporate headquarters is in New York City, USA.

TalkTalk TV Store UK-based video-on-demand service

TalkTalk TV Store was a UK-based transactional video-on-demand (VoD) service available on Macintosh and Microsoft Windows computers, games consoles, tablet computers and Smart TVs. Content is generally streamed, with downloading currently possible on Windows PC/laptops. The blinkbox brand had been extended to companion services offering digital music and books.

ITV Hub British online video on demand service

The ITV Hub is an online video on demand service accessible through the main ITV website itv.com. The service offers a variety of programmes from homegrown programming to imports across ITV, ITV2, ITVBe, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV. Some sports programming is available to watch again via the service, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and highlights being examples. Some programmes, imports and movies are not currently available due to rights issues, and until the latest version, most children's programming in particular was generally unavailable. Programmes are available for 30 days on the site after being first shown on ITV. The service was originally called ITV Catch Up but was then rebranded 'ITV Player' on 5 December 2008 as part of ITV's aim to create a recognisable and consistent brand for video-on-demand content across the web and TV. ITV Player was also branded as ITV Net Player and referred to as the ITV Network Player in branding and communication around programming intended for consumption across the UK, such as on Virgin Media, before adopting the current name.

Jimdo German web hosting service

Jimdo is a German website-builder and all-in-one hosting solution, designed to enable users to build their own websites without any web design experience. The company is privately held and headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, with offices in Munich and Tokyo. Jimdo has two products; Creator and Dolphin, both of which offer free and paid plans.

Guvera was an online music and entertainment streaming service founded in 2008. Guvera has agreements with the music labels in the regions where the product was available, which allowed for legal free music streams. As of May 2017, Guvera has shut down all operations across all remaining Asian markets.

8tracks.com internet radio and social networking website

8tracks.com or infinitetracks.com is an internet radio and social networking website revolving around the concept of streaming user-curated playlists consisting of at least 8 tracks. Users create free accounts and are able to browse the site and listen to other user-created mixes, as well as create their own mixes. The site also has a subscription-based service, 8tracks Plus, although this currently only available to listeners based in the United States and Canada.

rara (service)

rara was a music streaming service that operated between December 2011 and March 2015. It offered ad-free, on-demand music streaming from a range of major and independent record labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group, global rights agency Merlin and independent digital distributors The Orchard, INgrooves Fontana, Believe Digital, [PIAS] and VidZone Digital Media.

Bloom.fm former music application and streaming service

Bloom.fm was a London-based mobile-focused music service which combined free streaming genre and artist based radios, music discovery tools, a local library player and a catalogue of over 22 million tracks. The service allowed users to 'borrow' songs, making them available for offline playback. The maximum number of stored tracks was determined by the subscription level.

Microsoft Mobile Services are a set of proprietary mobile services created specifically for mobile devices, they are typically offered through mobile applications and mobile browser for Windows Phone, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Nokia platforms, BREW, and Java ME. Microsoft's mobile services are typically connected with a Microsoft account and often come preinstalled on Microsoft's own mobile operating systems while they are offered via various means for other platforms. Microsoft started to develop for mobile computing platforms with the launch of Windows CE in 1996 and later added Microsoft's Pocket Office suite to their Handheld PC line of PDAs in April 2000. From December 2014 to June 2015, Microsoft made a number of corporate acquisitions, buying several of the top applications listed in Google Play and the App Store including Acompli, Sunrise Calendar, Datazen, Wunderlist, Echo Notification Lockscreen, and MileIQ.

Google Play Music Online music locker, music store, and music streaming service

Google Play Music is a music and podcast streaming service and online music locker operated by Google, part of its Google Play line of services. The service was announced on May 10, 2011; after a six-month, invitation-only beta period, it was publicly launched on November 16, 2011.

WeTransfer Cloud-based file transfer service

WeTransfer is an internet-based computer file transfer service based in the Netherlands. The company was founded in Amsterdam by Rinke Visser, Bas Beerens and Nalden. In October 2018, WeTransfer relaunched its app with the name "Collect by WeTransfer". In May, 2020 India banned the WeTransfer app, citing security reasons.

SoundayMusic is a geosocial networking mobile music streaming app that enables users to listen to and track the music their friends and neighbors are playing in real time. The service provides over 32 million tracks and allows users to create "music stations" choosing between a mix of up to three artists, or choosing a music genre. In the free version users can create up to 10 personalized stations, look at the stations that are being played nearby in real time, and interact with other users through instant chat. The paid, premium subscription removes advertisements and allows users to create an unlimited number of stations. It was launched in 2009 by Soundtracker, and as of December 2014 the service has 1.3 million registered users. Soundtracker is available for iOS App Store, Android Google Play, Windows Phone Store, Windows store, Google Glass, BlackBerry World, Samsung Apps, Amazon Appstore, Nook, and Samsung Smart TV, in 10 languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese Simplified, Japanese, Korean and Russian. Soundtracker is a registered trademark.

YouTube Premium is a subscription service offered by the video platform YouTube. The service provides ad-free access to content across the service, as well as access to premium YouTube Originals programming produced in collaboration with the site's creators, downloading videos and background playback of videos on mobile devices, and access to the YouTube Music music streaming service.

Kakao is a South Korean Internet company that was established in 2010. It formed as a result of a merger between Daum Communications and Kakao. In 2014, the company was renamed Daum Kakao. The company rebranded once more in 2015, reverting simply to Kakao from Daum Kakao.

Joox music streaming service developed by Tencent

Joox is a music streaming service owned by Tencent, launched in January 2015. Joox is the biggest music streaming app in Asian markets such as Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and also the South African market. Joox is a freemium service, providing most of its songs free, while some songs are only available for premium users, offered via paid subscriptions or by doing different tasks offered.

References

  1. "Blinkboxmusic.com Site Info". Alexa Internet . Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  2. "Music Week - 'We7 hits back'".
  3. "Media Week - 'We7 moves beyond UK with Irish launch'".
  4. Halliday, Josh (14 June 2012). "Tesco buys We7 for £10.8m".
  5. "blinkbox music - try it now!". Blinkbox Music. 31 May 2013. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  6. Glenday, John (26 January 2015). "Tesco sells Blinkbox Music to Guvera". The Drum. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  7. Barber, Lynsey (11 June 2015). "Former Tesco asset Blinkbox Music goes into administration less than six months after sale". City A.M. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  8. "GUVERA HIT BY £10M LAWSUIT FROM EX-BLINKBOX UK EMPLOYEES". Music Business Worldwide. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  9. "The Register - 'Peter Gabriel takes sledgehammer to music downloads (again)'".
  10. "BBC News - 'Rock star pioneers free music site'". 5 June 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
  11. "Pocket-lint.com - 'Ad Supported We7 Launches Full Service'".
  12. "Music Ally - 'We7 shifts focus from free downloads to free streams'".
  13. Wray, Richard; Gibson, Owen (10 March 2008). "Sony joins We7 to make music free".
  14. 'We7 announces NME.com tie up'
  15. "New on We7 - 23.03.09". Archived from the original on 12 April 2009.
  16. "We7 Launches New Premium Subscription Service". Archived from the original on 30 December 2010.
  17. "RadioWorks appoints We7's Barker as business development manager".
  18. Barber, Lynsey (11 June 2015). "Blinkbox Music goes into administration".
  19. "Metro Station Competition Page". Archived from the original on 26 March 2009.
  20. "We7 posts £3.6 million loss". The Telegraph. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  21. Guardian, We7 shows ad-funded model can work for online music
  22. we7 launches full Android app with free trial Archived 25 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine .