Quick Interview with we7 CEO Steve Purdham

On The Future Of we7 & Ad Supported Music

image from www.hypebot.com Last week UK music streaming service we7 announced the first month where its on demand music was paid for in full by advertising. It was a milestone for BOTH We7 and for ad supported music which has struggled to find ad funded modes that are both profitable and return measurable payments to rights holders. So we asked we7 CEO Steve Purdham what's next for the company.

Do you expect the trend of ads covering music costs to continue for We7 and how close is the company to overall profitability?

PURDHAM: The key here is that the ad income matched a high level of value for each on demand stream, hence all the excitement. We do expect this trend to continue and the shift moves to one of scale so that the business can move to overall cash generation and hence profitability. We are looking for that to happen ideally before the end of 2010 or first half of 2011 at the latest.

Q: Now that this milestone has been reached, what are the plans for expansion and when?

PURDHAM: Music matters and it has to have a fair value, we will stabilize the model over the next few months and look then to start to expand into new regions steadily in the second half of the year and into 2011 but timing will be dictated by our desire to preserve the value in the music and match it against the realistic ad rates, it has to be a marathon to preserve value not a sprint.
Q: Is a U.S. launch planned?

PURDHAM: Not at the moment but the stronger we become economically the more attractive the U.S .will become for us and the more attractive we will be for the music industry to be in the U.S.

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