7digital aims to simplify access to the world’s music and radio. Our robust, scalable digital music platform and flexible APIs are used to power comprehensive music and radio services for leading consumer brands, mobile carriers, hardware manufacturers, broadcasters, automotive systems, retailers, record labels, artists and agencies. Alongside proven technology, we offer global music rights, award-winning radio production services, and content management expertise, making us a leading global partner in this space. We are listed on AIM in London (visit our Investor page for more information).
Our flexible API allows partners to harness the power of music through download or streaming services, while we take care of highly complex infrastructure management, licensing and reporting. We have created a resilient and scalable technology platform that provides both us and our partners with the ability to innovate quickly.
We are experienced purveyors, managers and creators of content. We license music from all the major labels, local independents and publishers, bringing our global catalogue to over 27 million tracks. Alongside licensing content, we produce award-winning music radio programming for some of the world’s biggest broadcasters, as well as cutting-edge speech and video content. Our content management system allows us to do the heavy lifting for any third party that wants access to a comprehensive, legally licensed, digital music catalogue.
We’re proud to have powered services for global brands like Samsung, T-Mobile, HMV and BlackBerry, as well as for up-and-coming companies like Germany’s Artistxite or Guvera in the Middle East. We are the largest independent producer of radio programming for the BBC and supply content and services to commercial radio stations throughout the UK and beyond.
As well as providing B2B services, we run our own music store, www.7digital.com, which is localised for 20 countries. Here we promote and sell music to a large and loyal base of customers. 7digital branded mobile apps are available for all operating systems and have been pre-installed on more than 60 million devices.
Founded in 2004, 7digital now employs more than 125 people across three continents. We’re headquartered in Shoreditch in London, with offices in Luxembourg, San Francisco, New York, Manchester and Auckland. 7digital is the only UK-listed company to provide investor-exposure to the mass adoption of digital music via streaming and radio services.
7digital Group includes a portfolio of companies committed to innovation around music, radio, technology, speech and video production. From award-winning radio programming to state-of-the-art radio software, we deliver a broad range of services, catering to both businesses and consumers. Explore our group companies below.
Simon Cole, Chief Executive Officer
Simon brings 25 years of executive leadership to 7digital, having led UBC Media as a public company for over a decade. After studying Drama at Manchester University, Simon joined the BBC for his initial training in the radio medium. He moved rapidly to commercial radio, joining Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio in 1983. In 1987, after he predicted the emergence of an independent production sector, the board of Piccadilly Radio plc asked him to setup just such an operation, PPM airwaves. The company went on to establish the market for sponsored networked programmes.
In 1989 Simon left to found The Unique Broadcasting Company which became the market leader in both the production of network radio programmes for commercial radio throughout the UK and BBC Radio. In 2000, Unique floated on the London Stock Exchange as part of UBC Media Group plc with Simon as Chief Executive. UBC Media were leaders in content production and software development for the global radio and online communities. During his time as Chief Executive for UBC Media, Simon oversaw the acquisition of several production companies in both London and Manchester and drove the Company’s move into new online platforms. He was a director for Audioboo and continues to hold a seat on the Board of Audioboom.
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Ben Drury, Chief Strategy Officer
Ben began his career in 1996 as a founder of dotmusic.com, an internal venture at United News and Media. In 2000 Ben was headhunted by BT Group to head up the broadband music efforts at their ISP BT Openworld. At BT, Ben pioneered music and video downloads on dotmusic with the UK’s first unlimited subscription offer. Following the partnership between BT and Yahoo! to form BT Yahoo! in 2003, Ben engineered the sale of dotmusic to Yahoo!
In January 2004, Ben founded 7digital with James Kane. He was named by Growing Business Magazine as a Young Gun in 2006, and in Billboard’s prestigious 40 Under 40 list in 2011. Ben is currently a Non-Executive Director of Intercede, and has served as Deputy Chairman of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and on the board of the Official UK Charts Company. Ben graduated from King’s College London with BSc (Hons) Physics with Philosophy of Science.
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Pete Downton, Chief Commercial Officer
Pete joined 7digital in June 2014, assuming overall responsibility for its commercial strategy. Prior to 7digital, Pete held key leadership roles at Imagination Technologies, including being responsible for content and consumer experiences across both the Imagination Technologies and PURE businesses. At Imagination, he set up the connected services department and helped spearhead the company's investment in Audioboom as well as the launch of the Flow Technology platform that establishes a new benchmark for connecting devices to the cloud across both internet and broadcast channels, and which forms the basis of PURE's FlowSongs music service (powered by 7digital).
Prior to joining Imagination, Pete spent over a decade working for Warner Music Group holding senior management positions in the company's International Marketing and Business Development teams. He helped build Warner Music International’s reputation as one of the most innovative, creative and respected media players in the digital arena and played a key role in establishing on-going relationships with major global partners such as iTunes, Orange and Vodafone.
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Chris Dent, Chief Financial Officer
Chris is Chief Financial Officer of 7digital Group and is also Group Secretary for the Company. He was previously Finance Director of UBC Media Group plc and of associate company, Audioboo. Before joining UBC Media in May 2012, Chris spent ten years at Deloitte working within audit and corporate finance and specialising in work with media and technology clients. He is a member of ICAEW and holds a BA (Hons) degree in Modern History & Economics from Magdalen College, Oxford.
Stephen Somerville, SVP Commercial
Stephen has been leading 7digital’s sales and business development efforts for the past eight years. He has been instrumental in growing the business from virtually nothing to what it is today. Prior to joining 7digital, Stephen was Commercial Manager at UKTV for more than three years, working across a network of 10 channels to maximise revenue from the UKTV portfolio. Before that, Stephen was head of programming for UPC TV’s four premium Sport Channels in Central Europe, which reached more than 1.2 million subscribers. In his early career, Stephen served as a Business Development Manager at Yahoo! UK & Ireland.
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Paul Langworthy, VP Operations
With eleven years experience in digital and content operations, Paul has worked across all aspects of the digital supply chain including metadata, rights, scheduling, asset management and distribution. Prior to 7digital, Paul was the Head of Content Operations at YouView, the UK-based connected TV service. At YouView, he was responsible for building the service’s content operation and overseeing the ingestion of 30,000 films, TV and radio programmes from broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, 5, BT, TTG, and Sky’s new Now TV service.
Before YouView, Paul spent over nine years with Universal Music Group. At Universal, he held various roles in the label’s International Digital Supply Chain Management division, helping to transform the company’s operations from a traditional physical business into a leading digital outfit. This included developing digital standards, digital distribution platforms and enabling direct-to-consumer digital distribution.
Raoul Chatterjee, SVP Music
Raoul joined 7digital from Warner Music in November 2012, and works closely with music industry partners to support the ongoing development of 7digital. Previously, he ran the commercial strategy and operations for Warner Music UK, enjoying a successful time working with artists such as Ed Sheeran and Michael Bublé, and overseeing partnerships with services such as iTunes, YouTube and Spotify. He always has been a pioneer of the development of new digital business models. Raoul was also previously Director of Sales & Digital at Ministry of Sound, before becoming MD of Trinity Street Direct, a leading direct-to-consumer proposition for artists such as Oasis and Muse. Raoul serves as Chairman of the Digital Board of ERA, and is also on the ERA Executive Board.
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Gunnar Larsén, VP Products
Gunnar is a seasoned product, business development and content leader, with over fifteen years of international experience from the music, games and mobile industries. At 7digital, Gunnar heads-up the team that defines and drives the company’s product portfolio. Gunnar joined 7digital from Dolby Laboratories in August 2013, where he served as its Content Services Director in EMEA, responsible for relations with key music and video services and rights-holders. Prior to Dolby, Gunnar held key positions at companies such Aspiro Music / WiMP, RealNetworks / Rhapsody, Mobile Innovation (which was sold to Macromedia), and he was the product manager for the first ever mobile game that won a BAFTA: SMS Chess for Sony Ericsson's P800. Gunnar was born in Sweden, and has lived in Germany, Alabama and California.
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Jill Levene, VP Legal & Business Affairs
Jill is a commercial and digital media lawyer with over ten years’ post-qualification experience. She has worked for a range of multi-national companies including Ticketmaster, the BBC (Future Media & Technology Division) and Sony Computer Entertainment. At the BBC, Jill negotiated a range of technology agreements and advised other BBC business affairs teams on new media rights. At Sony, Jill was responsible for a wide variety of legal and business affairs matters, including licensing global rights from major car manufacturers, brand owners and race tracks for the video game franchise, Gran Turismo. Jill holds an LLB (Hons) in Law from the University of Nottingham and a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law.
John Leonard, Group Production Director
A former professional musician, John left a long and varied career at the BBC to join our Smooth Operations team in 1995. In his role as Editor of BBC Radio 1 North, he had been responsible for bringing to the network Janice Long, Andy Kershaw, Simon Mayo and Mark Radcliffe.
Over the last 15 years John has added The Folk Show (BBC Radio 2), Radcliffe & Maconie (afternoons, BBC 6Music) and long-running series Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! (BBC Radio 4) to Smooth Operations’ portfolio. For BBC Four, BBC Red Button and Sky Arts, John has produced television coverage of the Cambridge Folk Festival, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Celtic Connections and live concerts with KT Tunstall, Steve Earle and The Divine Comedy. John has been nominated for many Radio Academy awards, winning 7 Golds including documentaries for Radio 1 and Radio 2, the Radio Ballads, The Mark Radcliffe Show and Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! John was made a Fellow of The Radio Academy in 2007, and became Group Production Director in 2013. At 7digital, John continues to lead all activities in radio and event production.
Paul Shannon, VP Technology
Paul joined 7digital in the summer of 2011 as a developer in the API development team. Before joining 7digital he had previously worked in the legal and mobile industries. He was a pivotal member of the team that adopted Agile, Lean and XP practices at vehicle finance and tech company, Codeweavers Ltd, during his seven years there. Shortly after joining 7digital, Paul formed and led the Content Ingestion Team and was appointed Assistant VP of Technology in 2012. He worked closely with the previous VP of Technology to grow the team and help them scale the API platform to support the changing technology and music landscape.
Paul is a regular speaker at universities and conferences around Europe. He focuses on topics around process improvement, testing, recruitment and team dynamics. He has also contributed to 3 books with chapters on his experience of adopting quality driven software practices. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Nottingham.
Board of directors
Sir Donald Cruickshank, Non-Executive Chairman
Sir Donald Cruickshank has been Chairman of Audioboo Limited since April 2010. Sir Donald has served as a director of Qualcomm Incorporated since June 2005. He was Chairman of Clinovia Group Limited from January 2004 to February 2007 and Formscape Group Limited from April 2003 to December 2006 and was a member of the Financial Reporting Council, the body in the UK responsible for oversight of the Accountancy and Actuarial professions and for corporate governance standards, from June 2001 to June 2007.
Sir Donald has extensive experience in a number of areas, including European regulation and telecommunications. Sir Donald’s career has included assignments at McKinsey & Co. Inc., Times Newspapers, Virgin Group plc., Wandsworth Health Authority and the National Health Service in Scotland. Sir Donald served as Chairman of the London Stock Exchange from 2000 to 2003 and as Director General of the UK’s Office of Telecommunications (Oftel) from 1993 to 1998. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Chairman of Action 2000, the UK’s Millennium Bug campaign. In 1998 Sir Donald was appointed as
Chairman of the Government’s Review of the UK banking sector, and from 1999 to 2004, he served as Chairman of SMG plc.
Sir Donald holds an M.A. degree in Law and an honorary L.L.D. degree from the University of Aberdeen and an M.B.A. degree from Manchester Business School, the University of Manchester.
Sir Hossein Yassaie, Non-Executive Director
Sir Hossein Yassaie has been Chief Executive Officer of Imagination Technologies plc since June 1998. After attaining his PhD, Hossein was a research fellow at the University of Birmingham. He then joined STMicroelectronics/Inmos, where he spent eight years, ultimately becoming responsible for the system divisions, including research and development, manufacturing and marketing.
After joining Imagination Technologies in 1992 as Technical Director, Sir Hossein refocused the business on advanced technology development and created Imagination’s successful silicon IP business model. Sir Hossein is a Non-Executive Director of Toumaz Limited.
Eric Cohen, Non-Executive Director
Eric Cohen is Senior Vice President, Corporate Development at Dolby Laboratories, Inc., where he oversees corporate development, mergers and acquisitions activities, and corporate strategy.
Eric previously worked for 30 years in investment banking, where he gained diverse experience advising clients in strategic transactions and financings across a broad range of industries. Eric was formerly a Managing Director and senior member of the technology investment banking team at Cowen and Company, where he headed the firm’s digital media, Internet, and new media business. and founded Cowen and Company’s digital media practice in 2001. Prior to that, Eric held the position of Managing Director at J.P. Morgan and also worked for 11 years at Credit Suisse First Boston.
Eric holds a BS degree from Brown University and an MBA degree from Stanford University.