7digital was founded in January 2004 by Ben Drury and James Kane, as a B2B digital music services company, building music download stores for record labels, brands and other retailers. 7digital Direct to Consumer (D2C) service was launched in 2005.
7digital is backed by technology venture capital firm Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Capital Europe). On January 28, 2008 7digital raised £4.25m in its series B investor round, securing investment from various groups including Sutton Place Managers. The investment was to be used to launch 7digital.com in more European countries and the United States, along with expanding the sites offerings to include downloadable video and computer games.
In September 2008 7digital.com was the first company in Europe to launch DRM-free MP3 downloads with all four major record labels.
As of October 2008, 7digital employed 45 people in London and had over 1.3 million registered customers.
On 3 August 2009, HMV bought a 50% holding in 7digital from its venture capital owners.
In 2011, 7digital expanded with an office in Luxembourg and in early 2012 they expanded to the US with an office in San Francisco, CA.
In October 2012, 7digital secured $10 Million in funding from two new investors, Dolby and Imagination Technologies. HMV's stake was previously reduced to less than 20%, and following HMV entering into administration, retail restructuring specialists Hilco, are now the holders of these shares.
On 25 November 2013, UBC Media announced merger plans with 7digital by way of a reverse takeover. The merger was completed in May 2014, forming 7digital Group Plc.
7digital's agnostic platform is used for building products on any type of connected device. Partners have included Samsung, Yahoo, Sirius, HMV, T-Mobile and the BBC.
In May 2016 it was announced that 7digital had won a contract with music video app company Musical.ly.
In Jan 2016 it was announced that 7digital would be partnering with eMusic to power the digital music platform following its re-launch. Under this arrangement, eMusic will access its licensed content for customers through the 7digital catalog.
In July 2014 the Australian-based streaming service Guvera, announced that it was launching into various territories in Asia and the Middle East using 7digital's API. Guvera offers on-demand and ad-supported radio streaming services in a number of territories. Partnering with 7digital allowed Guvera marked the first time entry to Middle Eastern markets for both Guvera and 7digital. The 7digital-powered Guvera service launched through App stores and as a pre-load on Lenovo smartphones and tablets. On 10 November 2014, Guvera announced that it had launched its streaming service in India.
In June 2014, it was announced that 7digital were contracted to power a hi-res music service for Japanese hi-fi manufacturer Onkyo.
In September 2014 it was announced that SBS will partner with 7digital to launch new digital streaming services. 7digital’s API and infrastructure will provide La Musica, SBS' online Latin music, entertainment and news destination, with content management technology and a royalty reporting system to support additional music products beyond the site's current radio station streaming offering.
In November 2014 it was announced that Panasonic had launched a new 7digital-powered hi-res music service under their recently re-launched Technics brand. The service, called Technics Tracks revealed there would be tens of thousands of 24-bit 192 kHz songs, 100s of thousands of 24-bit FLAC tracks, and many millions of 16-bit 44.1 kHz songs.
Samsung selected 7digital as the strategic partner for Music Hub version 1.0. This version of Music Hub provided downloads and synchronisation for offline use. The relationship continued with the replacement of Music Hub 1 by the parallel launch of Music Hub 2.0 and 3.0 dependent on the territory that the handset was designated for. In 2012 with the launch of Samsung Galaxy S3 devices in Europe and North America the Music Hub has begun to include subscription streaming alongside their music downloads. 7digital pre-install is also available on Samsung Galaxy S4.
BlackBerry and 7digital first worked together on a download app for their Playbook tablet back in 2010, since then both companies have continued to work closely together on various applications, including 7digital branded Smartphone apps for their OS 7 devices and more recently replacement of the Blackberry World Music Store for a 7digital branded application for Blackberry 10 users.
In 2012 BlackBerry began development on a new white labeled service called BlackBerry World which was built using the 7digital API. The service was purpose built to run on their new OS (QNX) which would feature on their newly launched Z10 and Q10 smartphones. The service rolled-out from January 2013 and is live in 18 countries. It offers high-quality MP3 music downloads to BlackBerry customers directly via their BB10 device and also via web-based stores. The launch of the service in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and South Africa also established 7digital's presence in these new emerging markets.
7digital is independent of their business since significant investment they received in 2012. Re-launched in October 2013, HMVdigital.com is an à la carte download store, available both online and on mobile, supported by a desktop and locker management application. 7digital provides all back-end technology, user account and billing systems alongside catalogue management and licensing. Mobile apps feature sound and image recognition functionality, simplifying the path to finding and buying music. 7digital enabled HMV to simultaneously launch across five platforms, with plans for international expansion to numerous territories.
7digital collaborated with Canonical Ltd. to provide the Ubuntu One Music Store in the Ubuntu Operating System starting from Ubuntu 10.04.
On 2 April 2014 Canonical announced the closure of all of the Ubuntu One file services.
Spotify users from the UK, France, Norway, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands and Sweden were able to purchase tracks to download (if available) from 7digital. This was done by right-clicking and selecting the 'Buy From' link. However, Spotify launched their own purchase service during 2011 which replaced 7digital.
In October 2014, it was announced that 7digital would work with will.i.am for his new wearable smart device.
In November 2014, 7digital partners Technics launched ‘Technics Tracks’, a new premium Hi-Resolution audio service.
7digital offers music tracks in MP3 320, 256, M4A, 16-bit and 24-bit FLAC audio.
7digital has apps for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows, and Firefox OS operating systems as well as a mobile-optimized store available on any device.
The 7digital mobile app is pre-installed on devices through partnerships with Acer, HTC, Samsung, BlackBerry, Pioneer, HP, Dell, and Sonos.
The 7digital music download stores run weekly localised promotions, with discounts on new albums and catalogue titles, weekly free track promotions and editorial features. 7digital.com stores have local currency, language and catalogue throughout Europe, North America and parts of Asia Pacific.
7digital stores the user's music, via the 7digital Locker, allowing access to previous purchases from any device. Users can then download these music purchases to their device or stream from their 7digital Locker. Locker streaming is also available on wireless Sonos devices.
Launched in 2004, 7digital.com is one of the UK's first digital music download stores. Its catalogue hosts digital music tracks with a bit-rate of 320kbp plus, from the major record labels and independent music aggregators.
7digital's Indiestore launched in early 2006, and allowed unsigned artists and independent labels create their own digital music download store for free. The Indiestore was discontinued in 2010. 7digital directs independent artists to work with independent aggregators, where they will be able to service their music to a variety of music retailers.
In December 2014, 7digital became the first music platform to adopt Meridian Audio's high-quality MQA format for streaming/downloads.
As of July, 2015, 7digital operates in 82 countries.