We7 verses Spotify

peter-gabrielBritain v Sweden is an unlikely match-up but in the world of music streaming there are currently only two contenders and the gloves are off. In the ring are; blightys very own We7 and, the current market leader from Sweden, Spotify.

Most people would have heard of Spotify. The name itself is becoming synonymous with this new way of listening to music. However We7 is significantly less well known, despite its excellent British credentials. We7 was co-founded by Peter Gabriel before being sold to Tesco (who, unfortunately, seem to have done little to push it).

I have been a premium member of Spotify for about 2-3 years now, ever since they opened subscription in the UK. I went for the premium account because the cost is minimal (£9.99 per month) and the idea of being interrupted with adverts every 5 minutes pains me enough to have never even considered the free version. Until last week, Spotify has been, more or less, my only access to music throughout this time. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I was a Spotify evangelist, praising its virtues to all who would listen.  So, the idea of parting with a service which had become an integral part of my life really pained me.

I was aware of We7, perhaps only because I am a big fan of Peter Gabriel whose music was not listed with Spotify (for obvious reasons), and had very briefly considered moving about a year ago. However, I had all my playlists set up in Spotify, I had downloaded the albums I like onto my phone and was comfortable with its various interfaces.  However, in a quest to buy only British, last week I made the leap to We7.

We7 has three subscription options; the fee version with adverts, the premium version and the premium plus (which allows mobile streaming). I opted for the Premium plus subscription which has the same monthly charge as Spotify’s own premium subscription.

First thing I would mention is that the transition from Spotify to We7 has not been as painful as I envisioned. We7 is just as simple to use and actually has some additional features which should prove interesting. For instance, I like the ability to give a thumb up or down to tracks, so that We7 can begin to get a picture of what I like. The interface generally is actually a little easier to work out than Spotify was initially and Spotify would also sometimes lag or take a long time to stream. I have yet to have these same streaming issues with We7.

Both services still suffer from some glaring omissions to their song achieves. I cannot believe that there is still no Led Zepplin, The Beatles or Pink Floyd!!! I got excited when I first downloaded We7 as I found Pink Floyd and began playing Darkside of the Moon only to find that I could get only 30 seconds of each song. Bummer!

Basically, both services do more or less the same things and do them well. Both offer a radio-type functionality, however Spotify’s service is offered through a 3rd party application (Last FM) which actually makes this somewhat complicated (so I never used it). We7’s radio function is much more integrated with your listening behavior and could be a function that I use a lot to find new music.

Initial signs are that We7 is able to stream music with a little more finesse than Spotify (and a lot more Peter Gabriel), which has made a potentially painful move a rather joyous one.

If there are any changes to this I will let you know.

– James


  1. I am interested in the blipvert business model of we7. unfortunately, we dont have access to its site in the US. can you briefly discuss that?

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