Tesco snaps internet radio service We7 for 10.8mn pounds


British supermarket chain Tesco has acquired 91 per cent stake in online music venture We7, founded by Cheshire entrepreneur Steve Purdham and rock star Peter Gabriel, in a 10.8 million pounds deal.


Tesco said it has bought 91 per cent stake in We7 and plans to buy the remaining shares within weeks.

Announcing the deal Thursday, world's third largest retail chain Tesco said the move would offer customers "a wider choice in how they consume music, complementing Tesco's current music offer in store and online".

Internet radio service We7 has a catalogue of 11 million songs that users can listen to for free, with advertisements played at the beginning of each track.

We7 changed its business model from an on-demand service to an online DJ platform late last year. The site currently claims over 3 million users and 6.8 million tracks, licensed by all four major labels plus indies.

The move follows Tesco's acquisition last year of online movie service blinkbox and is part of a strategy to offer new ways of accessing digital entertainment.

Purdham co-founded WE7 with 5million pounds backing in 2008. Prior to that Purdham was chief executive of SurfControl, a Congleton-based internet security company, which was sold for 201 million pounds in 2007.

"With its loyal customer base, numerous marketing channels and international reach, we believe Tesco is the perfect partner to bring WE7's music services to a wider audience. Tesco has been an innovator in entertainment retailing for many years and we look forward to continuing this innovation digitally," said Purdham.

Tesco said it plans to launch additional digital music services from the WE7 platform in the coming months.

Tesco digital director Mark George said "This move will help us offer a greater choice for the growing number of customers who want to access music instantly on any device, whenever and wherever they.

Source: Britain News.Net