we7 has come out all guns blazing, promising to revolutionise personal radio and compete with the likes of Spotify and Last.fm as it promotes a series of innovations for its Internet Radio Plus service.
Pocket-lint spoke with we7 CEO Steve Purdham, who outlined the radio path that his music streaming service plans will take.
“We introduced the radio function at the beginning of the year and more than 50 per cent of people that listen to us now do so through the radio form”, he said.
“What we've found is that people like the idea of music being played to them with the choice of being able to add a request anytime that they want”.
The request function of Internet Radio Plus allows you to select any tune within the we7 catalogue, which now has over 6.5 million songs under licence, and add it to your radio playlist. You can also love songs so as the platform knows your tastes. And Purdham was keen to point out that another prominent personal radio service, Last.fm, does not offer you these features.
“Last.fm have been great pioneers in terms of adding personalisation into radio”, he said. “We're going beyond that though.
“The audience for Last.fm is totally different for the audience for we7. We are much more simplistic...we remove the complexities of technology”.
The radio function will also be seeing some great innovation over the coming months. Pocket-lint reported back in July how we7 had hooked up with The Guardian Radio to bring you news and entertainment bulletins, and this will be expanded and will evolve into a much more personal function.
“We're going to take [the partnership with Guardian radio] a lot further in the next 6 months where we're going to introduce news, sport, entertainment and various non-music capabilities and actually put that in control of the user”, he said.
He explained how this could involve users choosing how often and how much spoken content they wanted, as well as the type of content that they were interested in.
Purdham was also eager to point out that despite Spotify dominating the music streaming PR circles, we7 is more than holding its own in the emerging market.
“If you look at we7 we have 3 million users who use our service on a month by month basis and Spotify have about the same in the UK”, he said. “One has a higher PR presence, but it doesn't stop the other one from existing”.
Finally Purdham told Pocket-lint to expect a lot more announcements in the near future and even hinted that Internet Radio Plus could make its way into our pockets, or even our cars.
“This is just the beginning of a series of innovations over the next 6 months”, said the CEO.
“People want simplicity, personalisation and portability. Portability means onto different devices and different environments. We are doing a lot of work on other devices and you'll see more announcements in early 2011 and beyond”.
Exciting stuff, we're sure you'll agree. Make sure you check back to Pocket-lint regularly, where we'll be bringing you news of any we7 announcements.
In the meantime we're off to create a Bananarama radio station. Ping us an email if you want the link.
See also - We7 Android app takes on Spotify
And check out - Last.fm abandons on-demand song streaming