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7digital signs gaming deal as deputy CEO Downton departs


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B2B digital-music firm 7digital’s latest deal sees it getting into the gaming market, courtesy of a partnership with a company called Music Powered Games.

The deal was announced alongside the launch of MPG’s new app MuzArcade for iOS and Android – although seemingly only in the US for now. It’s a collection of puzzle and action mini-games driven by music – and particularly lyrics. For example, Stream Flapper is a bit like mobile game Flappy Bird, but with the player catching lyrics. Stream Breaker is an Arkanoid-style brick-breaking game – with lines of lyrics. Song Solitaire blends the popular card game with, yes, lyrics. And so on.

MPG is providing a selection of its own playlists of songs to play with, but the game also lets users log in to Apple Music and use their own playlists, or search for individual songs.

7digital has signed a two-year deal with MPG to “set up and maintain full-track streaming services” for MuzArcade – its first deal in the games sector.

In separate news, 7digital has confirmed that its deputy CEO Pete Downton is leaving the company, including stepping down from its board of directors. “He leaves with our gratitude and very best wishes for his next move,” said chair Don Cruickshank. Which rather does spark curiosity about what that next move will be. The former WMG executive has talked regularly about the blurring of boundaries between radio and streaming, as well as the potential of smart speakers. We suspect he’d be a smart hire for Apple, Amazon or Google, or even (given The Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen’s new berth at WMG) an innovation-focused role at a major. Or even a radio broadcaster like the BBC? Time will tell.

Stuart Dredge

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