— 7Digital: The online music retailer and white label store service says download sales were up 260 percent for Q4 2008; unclear if that’s up from the previous quarter or from the corresponding 2007 period; also unclear – the actual figures. Just as it’s rolled out in the US, 7Digital is set to launch in Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and Switzerland, after securing most of the necessary licenses in those countries. The company’s DRM-free schtick may now come under big challenge from a DRM-free iTunes, but 7Digital’s B2B services stream could see it through.
— Isle Of Man: The island’s government is trying to make the region in to a testbed for new ISP-operated music services. It unveiled a plan to license ISPs on the island, meaning customers could get to download unlimited music for a monthly fee.
— Qtrax Gets PRS: The legal ad-funded P2P client, which was the laughing stock of last year’s Midem after its claim to have signed all the major labels turned out not to be true, has now signed a deal with UK royalty collector MCPS-PRS. The body, which this week rebranded as simply PRS, is licensing QTrax to serve up the Anglo-American tracks of indie publisher Peer music and others, Billboard says.
— We7: The Peter Gabriel-backed ad-supported music service is adding Beggars Group’s 20,000 tracks, from artists including Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend. Release.
— Gracenote The music metadata service reckons its partnership with the UK’s Omnifone will see press-to-download music features coming to car radios soon – VP Ross Blanchard told me probably within a couple of years.