Tesco and We7 could work in perfect harmony

Tesco all but acquired We7 this week after buying a 91% stake in the company. If executed correctly, the move could finally bring We7 into centre stage.

Lara O'Reilly

The supermarket says the deal will offer consumers a wider choice in how they consume music. Tesco already offers movie streaming through its partnership with Blinkbox, so it makes sense to add music to the digital mix.

Blinkbox told Marketing Week last month that it is to leverage Tesco’s massive marketing capability to draw attention to its service. The streaming company said it aims to own “the entire movie experience”, which includes the food and drink accompaniments and the setting in which people watch films.

While there’s perhaps not an equal “music experience” with easily marketable snack and beverage accompaniments, Tesco’s influence will no doubt raise awareness of We7.

The site has lost some ground to its rivals in recent months, particularly Spotify, which has gained a phenomenal amount of members in a short space of time thanks to its deep integration with Facebook.

We7 has also lost its vice president of marketing, Mark McCulloch, who left earlier this year to join Pret A Manger, and its senior vice president of ad sales Dominic Barker.

So this is a perfect time to utilise Tesco’s marketing capacity to create some real buzz around the platform, which has been somewhat lacking in recent months.

We7 relaunched last year to differentiate itself from the rest of the digital music streaming sector by positioning as “personalised radio” rather than being a “jukebox style” service.

While the strategy around music discovery may have switched some users off because they preferred We7’s original use, it is perfect for mass market Tesco customers, who may not already have a ready-made playlist in their heads to switch on to and want to be introduced to something new.

When speaking to McCulloch last year, he told me We7 users largely tune in to listen to pop – again, a great match for the UK’s largest supermarket.

Tesco’s Blinkbox integration allows Clubcard holders to receive the equivalent digital stream when they buy a DVD. Music discovery could make its We7 integration a game changer by not just offering an equivalent, but other tracks they might like that are similar to that artist.

For Tesco, which is likely to use We7 to target people who want to listen to music on the go, the service could also keep its brand front of mind while people are out and about. This could help to increase impulse purchases at a time when its sales are struggling.

As We7 user favourite Lana Del Rey would say, this could be a (musical marketing) match made in heaven.

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