We7 Preps Its Subscription-Only Mobile App

Steve Purdham will be hoping the magic cash generator that is the mobile app will rub off on We7. The online music service’s CEO says Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has approved his iPhone app, which will go live from March 1.

Much like Spotify, the app will be free but will require We7’s forthcoming £9.99-a-month Premium Plus subscription. Also like Spotify, it will afford offline play; Android and BlackBerry apps will follow.

Purdham’s a big mobile music fan, but this could be a make-or-break year for We7, which is funded by Peter Gabriel, Spark and Eden Ventures and, we understand, found a further funding round recently. When it first launched in 2007, We7’s model was to embed audio ads in downloadable music files. It’s since shifted to ad-funded free web streaming, with per-track download purchasing behind.

But Purdham is upfront about what he acknowledges is a disparity between advertising income and music royalty outgoings. So, as dozens of other content operators are also doing, augmenting the free option with some actual consumer income is important. The one big question – will people subscribe to We7 mobile when they can subscribe to Spotify mobile?