Is music-streaming boiling down, globally, to the big-tech big guns (Apple, Google, Amazon and maybe Facebook) plus one or two independent services if they can survive? 7digital CEO Simon Cole thinks his company’s recent deal with social app shows there’s much more value to be unlocked.

“The labels understand where we fit in the new ecosystem. What they need are a lot more Musical.lys,” he told Music Ally. “If you go back to the physical world, only about 20% of physical music was ever bought from record shops… In this new streaming world, Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play: they’re record shops,” he added.

“But then there’s a whole bunch of people using music to do something else, whether it’s helping teenage girls make their own pop videos, putting music in a messaging service, or a radio station that simply want to offer people their playlist offline. I would say all of these things and more will be a bigger bit of the digital music industry than the ‘shops’… Who are the five global clients who need music? Does Snapchat need music? Does WhatsApp need music?”

Read our full interview with Cole for his views on 7digital’s path to profitability; the fall of rival Omnifone; and why if ad-supported free music hasn’t worked so far it’s “because Spotify couldn’t sell ads well enough”.

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