Don’t steal it – We7 it

[intro]You spend months looking for free music, and then two lots come along at once. This one’s backed by the Sledgehammer himself, Peter Gabriel[/i

So you’ve downloaded the new album by The Crimea and that free music feels good on your ears. Of course it does, your wallet’s untouched and there are some top indie pop tunes sprouting from your speakers. But once you’ve got the taste, chances are you’re going to want more.

Now it’s not often I get to say this, so I’m going to cherish it: Peter Gabriel to the rescue! The ex-Genesis man is backing an ad-supported DRM-free music download service called We7.

The ads will be digitally grafted, Frankenstein-style, to the front of each track – thankfully not forever. After ‘a period of time’ you’ll be given the option of an ad-free tune. If you really can’t wait, there’s also an option to buy the song sans advert in the normal way.

It’s still in the early stages but I’m told the plan is to get independent labels and unsigned bands on-board. There’s also talk of user-generated content, a la YouTube, but to cut down on the rubbish that plagues said video site, We7’s TasteMaker community will vote on what gets to be published for download.

Right now it’s in beta (like all good websites) and won’t launch properly until next month, but by the end of the year the aim is to have up to half a million tracks available for download. Hopefully it won’t just be Peter Gabriel’s back catalogue…