we7 has revealed it is moving away from on-demand music streaming in a bid to become more like an internet radio service.
Dubbed 'Internet Radio Plus' by the music service, we7 users have been given the ability to enter an artist, song or album they like, and hit play. Rather than having to choose other songs, artists or albums to create their own personalised playlist, the site will automatically create a radio channel based on the user's selection. This radio channel can be played for as long as the user wishes.
They can also make a 'request' for a specific song or album - including any of the songs they have just heard – which we7 says is "just like having their own personal DJ".
Furthermore, by pressing the 'love' button next to any artists, song, album or playlist, users can influence what is played. "Unlike a radio station, which plays one broadcast to a million people, we7 will play a million personal audio streams to a million people," said Steve Purdham, CEO of we7.
"As we have continued to grow in the UK we have learnt more about how consumers want to 'listen' to the music they love. In the UK, 51 million people use radio as their preferred method of accessing music.
"Music consumption is moving rapidly to an internet base but in the world of radio there has been little or no innovation to capitalise on this new potential. Great pioneering work done by Last.fm in the UK and Pandora in the US has shown that the potential is much bigger, and we7 intends to go further to deliver real benefits to the next generation of internet radio listeners."
we7 also said that in the coming months it plans to allow users to access news, entertainment, sport and weather via the internet radio stations.
"Eventually Internet Radio Plus will even allow users to include a news alert if anything happens with a chosen football team or in a myriad of other personal interest areas," the firm explained.
Purdham said the simple radio function was first introduced on to the site in January this year. "Without any focus, by September more than 55 percent of tracks were being accessed through radio rather than on-demand," he said.
"Put simply, it states 'entertain me but let me have control when I want it'."