7 digital appoints eMusic president Tamir Koch as chair

7 digital appoints eMusic president Tamir Koch as chair

7 digital has confirmed that eMusic president Tamir Koch has been appointed non-executive chair.

David Lazarus has also joined the board of the B2B digital music company with immediate effect.

Koch and Lazarus have taken a controlling stake in 7digital, as a result of their £1.3 million investment last month. Mark Foster will cease to act as interim chair and will continue with his role as a non-executive director. 

In an exclusive interview with Music Week, Koch outlined his vision for 7digital and pledged to inject further funds. Koch, a tech entrepreneur for 24 years, has led the eMusic Blockchain Project, seeking to provide a decentralised approach to music distribution and rights management.

Lazarus, an industrialist and entrepreneur, spent six years at Lloyds of London as an accredited Lloyds Broker. He is currently an executive director of the RAM Hand-to-Hand Couriers Group in South Africa.

7digital recently announced that it could enter administration unless it receives a £4.5m cash injection by the end of the month

John Aalbers, CEO of 7digital, said: “We are very pleased to welcome both Tamir and David to the Board. They each bring valuable experience that will help the company work towards delivering on 7digital’s vision and executing our new company strategy.”

Koch said: “I always believed in the company’s potential to be the leading ‘business-to-business’ provider in the world of streamed music. 7digital's 2018 results show record turnover and revenue growth of 19% despite the setback incurred by the closure of the MediaMarktSaturn streaming service. While this unexpected development had an impact and exposed some dependency risk, the company continued to win business and has now significantly reduced overhead after consolidating platforms and resources incurred from acquisitions in the last few years. My belief in the future is resolute. 

“I also came to realise that the company provides the perfect platform with which to partner and build the blockchain technology that we at eMusic have been working on over the past year. I envision blockchain as the way to align metadata within the industry, organise direct royalty payments, and create all-new economic models between fans and artists. I aim for 7digital to be at the forefront of those developments. The company already has a world-beating distribution platform including access to over 70m tracks, with 1m tracks added each month.

“Adding this new asset under the 7digital distribution services will give access to the Direct-to-Fan market, which is the fastest growing market in the industry, and enable monetisation of transactions on the blockchain. I further see 7digital’s business-to-business customer base as having access to the broadest range of catalogue, including exclusive content from artists who would wish to upload directly to the platform and use blockchain for rights and royalties.”

He added: “With this vision for 7digital, earlier this year I offered to support the company financially. Now, we are co-ordinating £6.5m funding where my partners and I have already invested £2m by purchasing existing loan notes and subscribing for new shares. I am confident of concluding this raise in the coming weeks and removing any concerns to ongoing company operations.   

“Our vision is clear: to establish 7digital as a business-to-business leader that will use emerging technologies to allow customers access to the largest catalogue, provide the industry with an efficient tracking and payment system, and give artists worldwide distribution and full control of their music.”

To read the Music Week interview with Koch and CEO John Aalbers, subscribers can click here.

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