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SpiralFrog folds, locks DRM

SpiralFrog folds, locks DRM

The SpiralFrog service was unable to get enough advertising revenue to cover its debts, and closes its doors - leaving customers just 60 days to enjoy their downloaded music.

Users of the ad-supported music site SpiralFrog are being warned that their music is likely to disappear in the next two months as the DRM kicks in after the company ceased operations last week.

According to a source talking to CNet, the digital rights management implementation used by the company will render all downloaded music unplayable sixty days after the site closes – leaving customers unable to play their song collections.

Industry pundits are blaming a lack of content – the company only managed to get Universal Music Group and EMI to sign contracts, with Sony Entertainment Group and Warner Music Group holding out – along with restrictive DRM in a time when its competitors were offering downloads free of artificial limitations on what customers could do. Owing $9 million to hedge funds and other creditors, the company simply wasn't able to shift enough advertisements to cover its costs and was forced to close.

This leaves the customers the company did have in an unenviable position – with a range of music which will shortly become nothing more than a waste of hard drive space. While the slim possibility of a resurrection remains – the company's assets are due for sale, and it's possible the administrators will consider selling SpiralFrog as a complete business – should another company take control and keep the DRM servers running, it's not looking good for anyone with a SpiralFrog account.

While users of the service never paid a subscription – with SpiralFrog relying on an advertisement-based model which saw its customers receiving free music downloads if they would agree to sit through a range of adverts – it's difficult to say whether a sixty-day grace period is generous or insulting. One thing's for sure – this sort of occurrence is only likely to turn people against DRM.

Do you believe that the SpiralFrog users had it good while it lasted, or should the company have unlocked the DRM before folding as a last gesture to its loyal customers? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

9 Comments

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Star*Dagger 23rd March 2009, 10:21 Quote
I would find out the RL names of the decision makers and not buy or use a service from them ever again.
Sleepstreamer 23rd March 2009, 11:00 Quote
The music industry seems to be completely blinded by their own greed, personally I've stopped listening to music altogether.
frojoe 23rd March 2009, 11:18 Quote
Another reason not to ever buy DRMed music, but at least they hadn't paid for the useless bits that are now filling up their hardrives, with anything but their time.
ChaosDefinesOrder 23rd March 2009, 11:18 Quote
yet another example of why the DRM business model is completely and utterly flawed
DXR_13KE 23rd March 2009, 11:25 Quote
this is going to still up a s*** storm...
profqwerty 23rd March 2009, 13:10 Quote
You could argue one of the reason's it's folded is people not buying enough from them and downloading for free. Either way as said it's still a flawed business model...
Evildead666 23rd March 2009, 14:44 Quote
Personally i now listen to the radio online....
Absolute radio and .977 all via shoutcast and Winamp.....

AT least i'm not always listening to the same old tunes over and over, and .977 has a lot of different channels with virtually no adverts...
perplekks45 23rd March 2009, 15:04 Quote
Last.FM is quite good in my opinion. But still DRM'd stuff just doesn't work anymore? What if that happens to Napster? All you paid for is unusable at some point? ****in' hell, you paid for it! If I buy a CD it doesn't evaporate after 2 years, does it?
After all these people paid for their music by watching/clicking/whatever ads. Seems a bit like theft to me. ;)
DLoney 23rd March 2009, 16:32 Quote
All i listen to nowadays is Slacker. Have not bought a CD in almost a year...
(www.slacker.com)
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