The power of Gabriel compels you to stream radio

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After the joy of Spotify was somewhat alloyed this week, there’s some good news for streaming music fans. Smart recommendation and discovery site The Filter, backed by Peter Gabriel, has struck a deal with the ad-supported music download service We7 – er… also backed by Peter Gabriel – to stream its music catalogue, essentially creating what sounds like highly personalised online commercial radio without the DJ – for UK users only at this stage.

The partnership builds on an existing agreement in place between the companies announced last year whereby We7 incorporated The Filter’s shiny recommendation technology, which uses Bayesian mathematics to make scarily accurate recommendations for music or movies that it ‘thinks’ you will love. The system was developed physicist Martin Hopkins, out of a need to manage his digital music collection.

The stations are set up so that each user will hear songs they are familiar with as well as specially selected songs that are outside of their current taste-circle, so that they can discover new artists. The users can also choose to listen to their friends’ stations, or play from a selection of genre stations.

Crucially for We7 and The Filter’s success in this niche sphere, We7 already has agreements with music labels in the UK, as well as an ad-supported infrastructure to cover streaming costs, which means it’s unlikely to run into the same pitfalls that Spotify so recently has.

David Maher Roberts, TheFilter.com’s CEO says the partnership has already resulted in increased dwell times and page views, laying the foundation for a number of new features and further changes to TheFilter.com planned for launch later this year.

The Filter currently has partnerships with Nokia Music Store (beta), Ministry of Sound and MSN Music. A company spokesman tells us that unique user numbers have been growing consistently since launch, and they’re on target to reach 200k uniques by March 2009. Currently, 54% of traffic is coming from the US, and 25% from the UK.

We7 competes with streaming music sites Last.fm, SpiralFrog, lala, and Imeem and with music search sites such as Seeqpod, Songza, Skreemr, Deezer, and HypeMachine.

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