You don't need an app for that
There's an ongoing narrative in tech blog circles around the terms Apple lays down for an app to be allowed to be listed on its app store. Most recently this concerns the rejection of an app from Readability. The company responded to this rejection with an open letter to Apple.
UK digital music company 7digital is probably best known as the service you buy music from when you click through from Spotify, but it's also present in Samsung mobile devices, PURE digital radios, and a bunch of other white-label manifestations. It does, however, have its own web store and is no less keen than any other internet company to embrace the mobile device revolution.
So 7digital has made apps for Android and BlackBerry, which it announced updates to today, but to date it's still awaiting approval from Apple for its iOS app. Everyone knows that the price for getting access to Apple's massive install-base is that you have to do things the Apple way, but 7digital has joined the growing consensus that it's often just easier to develop a mobile site that can be accessed from any browser, without having to pay Apple its pound of flesh.
So the big announcement today is the launch of a new HTML5 compatible mobile site, designed specifically with iOS users in mind. There are also updates to the Android and BlackBerry apps, with the former created primarily to enable Android users to access their already-purchased content on the go. We can confirm that the one track we have on 7digital - Killing in the name by RATM - appeared as soon as we logged into the app.
"Our customers are increasingly demanding instant wireless access to the content that they own on all of their devices, be it a mobile or tablet," said 7digital CEO, Ben Drury. "With the combination of apps and a new mobile store, we're providing a great high quality music experience independent of device or operating system to meet these expectations."
"As well as our own apps, we're also working closely with key partners including Samsung, Toshiba, Philips, Ubuntu, AOL and Acer. Using the 7digital API, our partners have access to over 12 million high quality MP3 tracks, allowing them to create a seamless embedded experience across a range of devices and software."
7digital will take a simple retailer's cut from its own-branded stores, but it has two main options for third parties. Spotify has a revenue share with 7digital, whereas most of the other companies pay up-front license fees to access its API, but don't share revenue from purchases.