We7 explores interactive content to attract users and advertisers

UK music streaming service We7 is looking to introduce more interactive elements to its offering to encourage people to engage with ads on its “freemium” model as it looks to take on brands such as Spotify and Last.fm in the highly competitive sector.

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Speaking at IAB Audio, We7’s senior vice president of ad sales Dominic Barker said the site is exploring developments such as quizzes and games that can be sponsored by brands, so that users’ eyeballs stay on the site while they listen to music.

Barker says We7 aims to offer more “next generation” campaigns to brands, such as its recent collaboration with Polydor Records’ girl band The Saturdays, which saw each member of the group create their own radio station on the site.

“In the future we need to develop more ’on demand’ access to content [like The Saturdays’ radio performances, which are available to stream or download], which doesn’t just come and go like broadcast and can be listened to again and again,” he adds.

We7 relaunched earlier this year with a fresh design and strategy to target younger music listeners, between 16 to 24-years-old, and act as their own “personal DJ”. The site offers a free ad-funded service, which serves users audio and visual ads between every few songs, and a subscription service without ads, much like Spotify’s model.

The redesign also introduced a new bespoke “halo” ad format, that surrounds the music player and allows brands to place large-sized ads to the right hand side of the screen.

Barker says We7 is looking to “push the big and beautiful halo format as far as it will go”, with mobile a particular focus of development next year.

We7 has 3 million members, mostly from urban areas, Barker claims. Rival Spotify claims it has 4.5 million registered users, with 1 million of those joining after the company partnered with Facebook for users to share their listening habits with friends.

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