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Old 29-08-06, 08:36 AM   #1
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Default Universal Backs Free Music Rival to iTunes

By Joshua Chaffin and Aline van Duyn in New York

Universal Music, the world's largest music company, has agreed to back a new venture that will allow consumers to download songs for free and instead rely on advertising for its revenues.

The new service, known as SpiralFrog, represents a departure from the 99-cent per-song business model made popular by Apple's iTunes store. It will begin operations in December.

Universal's support reflects music companies' willingness to experiment as they try to capture some profit from the boom in digital distribution, which is still dominated by illegal file-sharing networks.

In spite of iTunes' popularity, a report released last month by the International Federation of Phonographic Industries revealed that there are still roughly 40 illegal downloads for every legal one as consumers continue to flock to peer-to-peer networks.

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Old 29-08-06, 01:50 PM   #2
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DRM? The article doesn't say, but I assume their music will still have it.
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Old 29-08-06, 04:01 PM   #3
my name is Ranking Fullstop
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For consumers, SpiralFrog’s free downloads will come with many more strings attached than Apple’s paid ones do. Users of SpiralFrog will have to sit through advertisements, and will be prevented by special software from making copies of the songs they download or from sharing them with other people.

They will have to revisit the SpiralFrog web site monthly to keep access to the music they download. And the songs will be encoded in Microsoft’s WMA format, meaning they will not work on Apple iPod portable music players.
they've managed to combine all the worst elements of the digital music biz model into one package. i think free may not be enough - they may have to actually pay people.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/29/bu...artner =MYWAY
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