SpiralFrog Inks Free Download Deal With Universal
SpiralFrog, a New York concern, stated it reached an agreement with Universal Music Group to offer free downloads of its songs on its new ad-supported online music service. The service, to be launched in December, experiments with a new business model that offers free Windows Media downloads, as opposed to the pay-per-song model of Apple’s market-leading iTunes music store. SpiralFrog is now actively trying to reach similar deals with other record labels.
While the idea of free, legal downloads will likely appeal to consumers, record industry executives say it remains to be seen whether SpiralFrog can attract enough advertising revenue to pay record companies for their catalogs. SpiralFrog said it intends to share advertising income with its partners. The site also needs to sign on other major labels, such as EMI Group and Warner Music Group, to offer enough songs to attract strong user traffic. Both record labels said they were in talks with SpiralFrog. EMI and other record companies are also testing advertising-supported models with other partners, including Coca-Cola and Pepsi, as well as peer-to-peer services Qtrax and Mashboxx.
A source close to Universal Music told Reuters SpiralFrog agreed to pay upfront for the right to use its music for the new service. No financial details were available.
SpiralFrog is the latest business model to try to use advertising to fund the distribution of music.