Mass market music service We7 is moving closer to Pandora and Last.fm with the latest revision of its mobile app. It's not something that will appeal to music fanatics, who know exactly what they want, but should prove popular to the more traditional radio audience.
The app generates and downloads up to ten concurrent "stations", each up to five hours of music, to listen to offline. These are based on genre or artist or We7's own editorial choices, or your own favourites.
The app will first be available on Android, with iPhone and iPad versions to follow. We7 has pushed up to the limits of what performance licenses allow. The user can skip songs and rate them, but not rewind to listen to a song again, or choose what plays next.
The premium on-demand portion remains - offering a Spotify-style jukebox with no repeat restrictions for offline use for a tenner a month. But the emphasis here has gone on filling up your phone with as much stuff for offline use. It didn't skip a beat when the SIM-card was yanked out of the demo device I saw, a Galaxy tablet.
The Peter Gabriel-backed venture began life as a free, ad-supported download store four years ago, but now CEO Steve Purdham tells us there's little demand for download stores these days, which nevertheless require a significant overhead. Pandora's phenomenal growth suggests streams are a better bet. ®