We7 partners with GMG Radio to inject breaking news into music streams

One of the key advantages of on-demand music streaming services compared with traditional radio is that as well as listening to the music you choose you can do away with the DJ’s endless chatter and other interruptions. But there is a potential downside: being isolated from current events, such as breaking news.

We7, the UK music streaming service and rival to the likes of Spotify in Europe, thinks it has a solution in the form of a partnership with The Guardian Media Group-owned GMG Radio, the company behind stations such as Smooth, Real and Rock Radio. Under the agreement, GMG Radio will provide We7 listeners with breaking news via the Real Radio brand, with the two companies essentially creating a kind of hybrid offering, which potentially mixes the best of on-demand and live radio.

The news bulletins on We7 are opt-in and the music streaming service has created a special news ‘track’ that users can drop into their playlists or access directly but the clever bit is that these are dynamic so as to always deliver the latest headlines/breaking news from Real Radio.

It’s hoped that the partnership will not only benefit we7’s 3 million existing users but will also attract new audiences who like the news aspect of traditional radio.

CEO and co-founder of we7, Steve Purdham, comments: “Radio and Cloud based music can learn a great deal from each other, so we are really excited about working with GMG Radio.”

We7 appears to be on a bit of roll of late, having recently launched its premium service (sans ads) and iPhone app, the company also claims to have hit a tipping point where it is bringing in enough revenue to cover the real cost of the ad-supported streams, something that Spotify, which appears to have been going for scale first and foremost, can’t necessarily claim.