Audio Bits: Virgin Podcasts, CEO Leaves EMI Music, 7Digital Sales Up

Virgin Radio: The SMG-owned station will follow GCap by starting an in-house commercial podcast production house. GCap operates its aptly-named Creation Podcasts subsidiary, producing shows for Woolworth, political parties and The Sun newspaper. Similarly, Virgin’s new unit, headed by former Global Radio content manager Paul Sylvester, will produce audio for third-party clients as well as its own radio shows, becoming “a contract publisher to brands who need audio”, Sylvester tells The Guardian.

EMI: The change at the record label comes at a rate of knots. EMI Music UK chair and CEO Tony Wadsworth is stepping down ahead of a new restructuring plan. North American chief Roger Ames will now take up A&R responsibilities for the UK and Ireland, Mike Clasper gets a beefed-up role as well, reports, adding Wadsworth – who took the role in 2002 and spent nearly 25 years with EMI – was seen as one of the old guards.

7Digital: Hackney-based, Balderton-backed digital music store and white-label retailer 7digital says year-on-year sales are up 188 percent, attributing growth to the addition of DRM-free, 320Kbps repertoires from labels like EMI. Overall UK music download sales grew 47 percent to 77.6 million in 2007, according to the BPI; 7digital supplied its own figures. It has exclusive online carriage for Radiohead’s back-catalogue and the FLAC version of the band’s latest release. MD Ben Drury expects: “By the summer DRM will likely be resigned to the history books.”