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Songtradr agrees deal to buy 7digital

By | Published on Thursday 9 February 2023


Music licensing marketplace Songtradr has agreed a deal to buy publicly listed B2B digital music platform 7digital. The latter’s CEO has recommended the deal to his firm’s shareholders.

7digital provides services to companies running digital platforms that use music, originally powering download stores, and then moving into streaming and working with other kinds of digital services that need access to music or music data.

For a time the company was half-owned by HMV, in the years before the music retailer’s 2013 collapse. It then merged with radio company UBC, adding content and radio production to its menu of services.

In 2019, with financial challenges threatening the company’s survival, 7digital formed an alliance with eMusic and its owner TriPlay. The latter’s CEO became 7digital’s Chair, a role he performed until last year.

Among other things, that alliance saw eMusic and 7digital collaborate on a livestreaming platform when livestreamed shows were in the spotlight due to the COVID shutdowns.

What the Songtradr acquisition tells us about the next phase in 7digital’s story isn’t entirely clear. Although the two companies are arguably a good match, both offering business to business music services for brands and digital companies that want to do music stuff, but in the main complementary services.

The main Songtradr platform describes itself as “a B2B music licensing marketplace and its technology is designed to connect music rights holders such as artists, labels and publishers with brands, advertisers, video games, digital platforms and content creators”.

Meanwhile, the wider Songtradr business has acquired a number of other companies that offer similar but usually complementary music licensing, supervision and data services, including Big Sync Music, Song Zu and Musicube.

Songtradr CEO Paul Wiltshire says of his company’s latest acquisition: “Having closely followed 7digital’s evolution for a long time, we are delighted to have reached agreement to combine our businesses, expanding our position in the B2B music licensing and technology ecosystem”.

“We are very excited with respect to what our collective team will be able to achieve in delivering an enhanced offering for our clients and to help shape the future of music licensing”, he goes on.

7digital CEO Paul Langworthy adds: “We are pleased to recommend this offer to be made by Songtradr as it is beneficial to both the operations of the company and our shareholders. Songtradr’s ambition for the business matches our own and there is strong strategic alignment on how best to drive growth for the combined group, as well as how best to serve the needs of a growing B2B market”.

“The offer recognises the underlying value of the company, providing all 7digital shareholders with the opportunity of a certain cash exit at an attractive premium to the prevailing market share price”, he continues. “We firmly believe that as part of the combined group, 7digital will have access to the capital, support and scale it needs to achieve its full potential”.