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Radio Festival 2016 logo

Radio Festival 2016


The Radio Festival, hosted by The Radio Academy, was held at the iconic British Library for its 2016 annual conference on 26th September - and what a fantastic day it was!

Radio Festival - Disruption logo






Bright and early on a Monday morning, guests piled into the auditorium to enjoy a day filled to the brim with lectures, sketches and demos from the world of Radio. This year’s theme was ‘Disruption’, meaning attendees were in for a truly varied day, featuring a high-octane session led by the typically opinionated Katie Hopkins, a special sketch from the Dead Ringers troupe, and a keynote speech from Matt Hancock MP (Minister for Digital and Culture) on the Government’s view of the Digital Future.

The 7 Ages of Radio at The Radio Festival 2016










Behind the scenes were our very own 7digital Creative team, ensuring the day went off without a hitch. Smooth Operations, one of our production companies under the 7digital Creative umbrella, have been event producing the Radio Festival for the past seven years, and have seen the event evolve into what it is today. Kellie While, who heads up our 7digital Creative team, had this to say on our ongoing involvement:

‘We are in a very privileged position to be working with the Radio Festival as it enables us to get an insight into what is current and exciting in the world of radio. It’s a fantastic day where we get to be at the heart of topical discussion, surrounded by the best people at the forefront of modern radio.’

Jo Whiley at The Radio Festival 2016










-- Photo of Jo Whiley copyright bellanova photography --

Georgia Matthew, from our Smooth Operations team, was part of the crew on the ground at this year’s Radio Festival:

‘The Radio Festival is always a great experience for us, working with the ‘best of the best’ in radio, seeing the great work of the industry throughout the year and getting a glimpse into what the future holds. Running the tech, AV and staging for the event is such a rewarding job as we see all the sessions come to fruition through producers’ and guests’ hard work, while also learning more about the industry we love. RadFest means we get to work with fantastic people, ensuring a smooth production for those who attend - and all while having an absolute blast!’

Dermot O'Leary reading a tribute to Sir Terry Wogan at The Radio Festival 2016









-- Photo of Dermot O'Leary paying tribute to Sir Terry Wogan copyright bellanova photography --

For now the Radio Academy is focusing on its next event - the ARIAS (Audio & Radio Industry Awards to you and me) which take place in October, but for the 7digital Creative team the action doesn’t stop here. Watch this space!




  • 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.