7digital is becoming a mobile music power player

7digital CEO Ben Drury

Digital music retailer 7digital is shaping up to be one of the main smartphone competitors to iTunes Store, as it announces another big manufacturer carriage deal.

7digital, which already powers Samsung’s MusicHub on Galaxies, will also power downloads for 20 million HTC Android phones, including its flagship One, throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada and Australasia  by end of 2012.

The HTC player involves users creating a 7digital account, so those who use the 7digital app on their HTC can also buy songs from 7digital and use their 7digital locker through 7digital.com, or even rival devices.

With Samsung and HTC, both of whose apps carry 7digital branding, 7digital – part-owned by HMV – now powers music on two of the main Android handset exponents. 7digital’s API is what allows partners to offer its service on a white-label basis.

Previously, 7digital’s white-label business had depended on software and services suppliers, like Songbird, Last.fm and Tesco. But the emergence of mobile devices has been a revelation. Other devices it supplies with tunes include RIM’s Playbook, Toshiba devices and Acer tablets.

7digital lost the contract to power Spotify downloads when Spotify pulled the service in-house last year, but claimed minimal losses.

It’s notable that Beats Audio, in which HTC is an investor, recently acquired rival U.S. unlimited-access subscription music service Mog. HTC One phones have Beats Audio functionality.