The U.K.'s Leading Music Site Cranks up the Volume for Digital Rights Management and Ad Targeting with One Solution  

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we7, the United Kingdom’s largest ad-supported streaming music site, allows users to listen to, share and discover music legally and safely. The company offers free, on-demand, and unlimited access to millions of music tracks across all genres from all four major record labels as well as independents. we7’s ad-supported model sets it apart from competing music sites. The company’s innovative advertising platform ensures that artists and labels receive royalties for making their songs available, whilst consumers receive streamed legal music free of charge.


When providing streaming music, we7 has contractual obligations with music owners to abide by certain distribution restrictions attached to each song in its library. As such, the company needed technology that would allow it to continue providing a free service to users, while protecting the geographical rights associated with each song in its library.


Additionally, the company was looking to create an advantageous situation for its advertisers, artists and listeners by ensuring that the ads it delivered were appropriate for its audience. This approach would not only deliver more relevant and valuable content to listeners, but would also bring in new “eyeballs” for advertisers and new revenue streams for artists and their labels. In fact, artists and other rights owners benefit significantly because we7 is utilising both audio and visual advertising.



While conducting research, it became apparent to we7’s Chief Technology Officer Gareth Reakes that geolocation technology would address the company’s disparate needs.

“I knew that geolocation technology was essentially table stakes in the ad industry in terms of delivering more relevant content,” said Reakes. “However, as I researched different approaches to protecting our content, I discovered that this very same technology would be of great use in controlling music distribution based on geographic restrictions.”

After evaluating several market offerings within the IP Intelligence space, Reakes selected Digital Element’s NetAcuity technology based on two differentiating criteria.

“It became clear—quite quickly—that the quality of Digital Element’s technology was unmatched in the market,” said Reakes. “We were additionally impressed with how easily Digital Element’s data integrated within our existing IT environment.”

Offering data such as location, domain, proxy and connection information, Digital Element’s IP-based data is already being used across industries for a number of applications including ad geotargeting; content localization; site visitor analysis; and geographic rights management, wherein access to digital content can be restricted based on a user’s physical location. The ability to utilize a single solution for multiple applications is becoming increasingly attractive to online businesses as they work to protect digital assets while growing revenue.



According to a recent report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, 95 percent of music available online is downloaded illegally—with no form of payment made to artists. Delivering millions of music streams a day, we7 is helping to address this issue by using Digital Element’s technology to allow the company to abide by the geographic restrictions placed on songs by rights-owners, while also delivering true value to site visitors, advertisers, artists and labels.

“The geolocation capabilities delivered by Digital Element’s IP Intelligence technology bring amazing value to we7’s business model,” said Reakes. “That we can use a single technology to address multiple business needs shows the significance of this solution in addressing a wide array of distinct online goals.”


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