We continue our ongoing 4QFor (Four Questions For) series with ad supported download service We7's founder and CEO Steve Purdham. Steve has built several global technology companies including such SurfControl which was valued at its peak at £1bn. (Read our 4QFor interviews with the heads of imeem, ReverbNation and Nimbit here.)
Q1 What major changes in the music industry do you foresee over the next year? There are so many emerging trends set to take off in the next 12 months - the final death of DRM, increased consumer pressure for new distribution models, more bands moving to control 360 degree strategies, more examples of the internet being used to deliver new creative ideas e.g.: Radiohead, We7, Pandora, Live Nation, Starbucks. Finally, one of the main changes will be realization across the industry that the mobile world and the internet is one and the same.
Q2 How are you and your company preparing to benefit from these changes? At We7 it’s about standing behind the consumer and the bands, giving them functionality and facilities that reflect how they want to provide and consume music. The big fight is to get people to realise that free music does not mean ‘I don’t value music’, that free actually means ‘paid for by someone else’.
Q3 What excites you? Chaos, new ideas, emerging technology and fighting tradition – all these are the reason that I joined We7. The music industry is irrationally seductive and because of the fabulous creativity in the music world, it often forgets that it is still an
industry. So the challenge of trying to make We7 happen and working with great people like Gareth Reakes our CTO and his team, makes the long hours and the frustration almost bearable. Fans want music, being able to make that happen despite the industry trying to shoot itself in the foot is just brilliant.
Q4 What’s next? For me – it’s about making We7 a world famous company. For We7 – it’s about proving the ad model can work so it can scale. The industry - needs to embrace all the new models as opportunities not threats, the World - Peace and Goodwill would be nice but probably a stretch so sadly it will be more of the same but hopefully some bright spots that show that we deserve to be here.
More 4QFor interviews with the heads of imeem, ReverbNation and Nimbit here.