We were never bullish on Qtrax’s prospects when they announced their ad-supported music service a year-and-a-half ago. Now they look to be down for the count by announcing they had cemented deals with the four major labels when in fact that wasn’t the truth.
The free, ad-supported, P2P service launched at MIDEM today with a shaky “beta” version of their service and no licensing deals. The news comes after the company briefed reporters on the launch last week, claiming it had a catalog of 30 million tracks from the four majors, along with an assortment of independent labels. However Warner Music Group issued a statement declaring that no licensing deals have been inked. Then Sony BMG, EMI Music Group and Universal Music Group all chimed in stating that Qtrax didn’t have signed agreements with them either. It appears that Qtrax is at least in talks with at least Universal, but nothing has been finalized.
It was also discovered that Qtrax will put limitations on music downloaded from its service, which it denied in the past. More bad news.
The Future: Why would Qtrax endanger their credibility just to “launch” at MIDEM? Well, for starters, they never really had any, so what’s to lose? Second, they overvalued MIDEM as an important avenue for launching. Third, they’re clueless. As we told you a year-and-a-half ago: Doesnâ€™t work with the iPod. A proprietary format. A limited number of songs. P2P in theory, but not really. Qtrax sounds like a long-shot to us. And this is way before the major all announced non-DRM deals…