7Digital, the UK’s second largest online music store behind iTunes, tabled a press event this morning to trumpet a basket of announcements…
– All MP3s: It’s now selling repertoire from all four majors in 320Kbps, DRM-free MP3 format. That follows the addition of Sony (NYSE: SNE) BMG to its lineup, which we already reported in July. Customers who previously bought Sony BMG tracks in WMA format can “upgrade” to MP3 for free.
– International expansion: 7Digital is also opening up stores for Italy, Austria and Portugal – essentially just a matter of offering localised translation and payment processing. Stores for US and Canada will come in Q4, 7Digital said today, though CEO Ben Drury told us in June they would be here in July.
– Partner programme: 7Digital is making an API available for developers to plug in to the 7Digital underbelly to build their own applications; it’s made available to both corporate entities and “bedroom developers”. But a separate partner programme lets users embed 7Digital content on their sites with easier cut-and-paste media-player code. Both features will pay commission to associates, with 7Digital comparing it to Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) AdSense. Drury is happy for others to use his API “as a backbone for their own download store or music”.
– Physical product sales: The site is to begin letting its white-label clients sell physical items like CDs, tickets and merchandise alongside digital music. 7Digital powers music stores for the likes of ITV.com and Five.
– Indiestore upgrade: The store has refreshed its section for unsigned acts. Pages (55,000 so far) will now look like those for major-label artists and will come with video profiles filmed before gigs, as well as social sharing options and links to Bebo and Last.fm