Warner Music Group and MQA Enter Long-Term Licensing Deal
It was announced last week that Warner Music Group has agreed a long-term licensing deal with music technology specialists MQA. The agreement – the first between MQA and any major music company – will significantly increase music fans’ access to hi-resolution music globally. The agreement paves the way for recordings from WMG’s diverse roster of acclaimed artists and its world-renowned catalogue to be made available in studio master quality through MQA distributors.
Over the past year, we've listened to some of our favourite music in MQA, we have heard consumers' glowing reactions to the experience and as an industry, we've started to make the case that quality doesn't need to suffer for convenience. For these reasons, we are thrilled to share the news of this fantastic achievement for MQA and Warner Music.
MQA is a revolutionary technology, which delivers master quality audio in a file small enough to stream or download. By delivering the sound of the studio masters from WMG’s iconic labels, MQA will enable the listener to step into the magic of the artists’ original performances. MQA music is currently available via High Res Audio, onkyomusic, e-Onkyo, 7digital, 2L and Technics Tracks. Over the coming months, MQA will expand to more streaming platforms and into download stores worldwide.
Bob Stuart, Creator of MQA, commented: “This collaboration is a giant step forward for MQA and music fans everywhere. We have been working tirelessly to ensure labels, studios, artists, services and playback partners understand the potential of our technology and the responses have been overwhelming. MQA is about bringing the most authentic sound to music lovers all over the world and WMG is our first major partner to help drive this mission forward.”
Craig Kallman, Chairman & CEO of WMG’s Atlantic Records division, noted: “The digital music era has been all about convenience. It is fantastic that we can listen to virtually any song, anywhere, any time. In that process, however, convenience has trumped sound quality, and we have gotten further away from the sound that artists work so hard to create. MQA makes hi-resolution music easy to stream or download to any device. Music fans will love it when they hear it, and WMG is thrilled to be partnering with MQA to take the next step in bringing hi-resolution music to consumers across the globe.”
7digital became the first B2B platform provider to offer MQA earlier this year through our own site and onkyomusic. We have been working with the creators of MQA from early stages of the technology and we remain the only B2B provider capable of offering MQA.
The company was founded by Ben Drury and James Kane, offering digital music delivery B2B services. In the year following, 7digital was powering 180 stores for record labels and brands. Our fastest release ever was 46 mins from on-stage performance to sale in Dec 2005 as part of the Live 8 Guinness World Record.
7digital was powering 1,000 stores and made history by enabling Koopa to become the first unsigned act to make it into the top 40 charts on downloads alone. 7digital-powered service Now Play It won “Best Digital Service” award at the BT Digital Music Awards. 7digital signed a partnership with Last.fm and celebrated their first 1 million users on the platform. In 2008 7digital launched the global API and became the first European download store to offer Warner Music catalogue DRM-free.
7digital launched HMV music and video download stores in the UK and Canada, as well as an e-book store for Waterstones. Lost Tunes, powered by 7digital, won the ”Digital Achievement of the Year“ award at the Music Week Awards. We partnered with Songbird to provide an integrated MP3 store and built a mobile app on BlackBerry, which won the EMEA ”Innovation Award“. 7digital integrated MP3 downloads into AOL’s Winamp media player, HMV Group acquired 50% stake in 7digital for £7.7 million, we took part in the first ever Music Hack Day in London and celebrated 7 million tracks our catalogue.
7digital partnered with Shazam, we launched our own Android and iOS apps and developed a unique digital music experience for Samsung devices. Network operator O2 chose 7digital as their digital music partner in the UK and 7digital’s API powered services for 120 clients with 500 million API requests served.
In the following years 7digital expanded North American operations with key hires and launched Samsung Music Hub 3.0 in numerous territories. 7digital was selected as the music partner for Toshiba connected TV and we released the first digital music store on Windows 8.
7digital merged with award-winning radio company, UBC Media and went public on the LSE. We launched hi-res download stores for Panasonic and Onkyo, a Latin music radio service for SBS (Spanish Broadcasting System) and we confirmed a partnership with will.i.am.
7digital powered the launch of The Overflow, a genre-based streaming app, and we expanded territories for Radioplayer Worldwide. We announced that we are powering services for OpenLIVE, Tonlist, Electric Jukebox, Team Rock, CrowdTunes, Rithm, and Astro. We expanded licenses to Africa making our reach a total of 82 territories. Finally, we launched an integration with Google Cast to playback hi-res audio.
7digital started the year by premiering MQA content on onkyomusic at CES. We announced a new contract to power the relaunch of eMusic and won the tender to produce Jazz programmes for BBC Radio 3. We acquired French B2B streaming service Snowite (now 7digital France) and have brought on a number of new key hires. We launched 7digital Creative to look after curation, radio production, editorial and playlisting services for our partners.