7digital

Shop for music with the 7digital music app. Choose from over 30 million high quality tracks in our store; download, sync and play your music on the go.

Background

Launched in the UK in 2004, 7digital’s download store and mobile applications give consumers access to over 18 million tracks across Europe and North America. The Windows Phone application is available to Windows Phone users in 35 territories including UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Track currency and pricing is localised for users in each region.

Strategy

Our focus was on creating the ultimate experience for Windows Phone and Windows 8 users in two key areas, purchasing and listening to music. The purchasing side is represented by the ‘store’ experience which is how the user is introduced to new music. We created sections for featured, charts, new releases, future releases, on sale and genre browsing to cater for the many ways in which users discover and buy their music. The listening side is all held within the ‘Your Music’ section of the site. This includes everything from browsing, sorting and filtering your music as well as creating and managing custom playlists to make the listening experience as great as possible. Alongside of all of this is an easy to use downloads management section where the user can access all active and completed downloads for their music. Lastly we recognised that users have different requirements for data usage and so created a comprehensive settings section where users can set the quality of music to be streamed and downloaded to their device depending on the factors like their network connection.

Challenges

The background audio features in Windows Phone are undoubtedly great, but we did hit some issues interacting with the background audio player (BAP). We had some great help and support via the series of blog posts you can find here on background audio in Windows Phone which really unpack some of the nitty gritty.

Integrating with the background transfers agent on Windows Phone was also an area where we would have liked to do more. There is a hard limit in the operating system of the number of background transfers that can be queued in the background at any one time. We hope to improve this once the operating system is updated to allow more background transfers to be queued at any one time. Having said that, the background transfers agent is extremely reliable and does automatically deal with transfers and adjust (pause, retry etc.) depending on the users settings and network connections which really helps.

Success

We believe we have created the best 3rd party music experience on Windows Phone and Windows 8.

We have focussed on reducing the purchasing and listening of music to core, simple actions. Fluid, understandable and intuitive flows are apparent across the most common scenarios of usage. Introducing features such as a pure offline mode for airplane usage and also making it easy to save the current play queue as a custom playlist are the type of added value features we love to add in to apps, to add that extra bit of delight.

We have simply attempted to create an app which gets out of the way of the user, allowing them to quickly find, buy and listen to music.

Want to get started?

We would love to help with your next app or game, please do get in touch.