It looks like its 'squeaky bum time' for Applie's iTunes service as a rival organisation, known as SpiralFrog
, plans to launch in December offering completely free music downloads.
Here is a blurb about the new site taken from their about page:
SpiralFrog is a new online music destination, offering ad-supported legal downloads of audio and video content licensed from the catalogs of the world’s major and independent record labels.
SpiralFrog will be a secure environment where music lovers can satisfy their unyielding passion and thirst for music, entertainment, and information. Our site will be as multifaceted, smart, and current as the audience we hope to attract. An audience that we believe is the driving force behind the way music is created, discovered, and consumed today.
Headquartered in New York City, the SpiralFrog website will debut in December 2006.
The company will support itself through online advertising, subsidising the musical downloads. They will enforce a copyright protection to try to stop people from sharing the downloaded mp3's with one another too. Their hope being that people will turn away from illegal music downloads when there is a free alternative available.
Of course the service would be useless without the support of any major music producers, fortunately SpiralFrog have already got Universal Music Group
onboard. With artists such as Eminem and Elton John on the back catalogue the proposition certainly looks promising.
However, some analysts are claiming the service won't work as well as predicted, with advertising companies being put off by the lack of a specific target audience. They also believe that the service will struggle because it does not cater to the portable or mobile content. These are issues that may be addressed by the winter launch.
Will you ditch iTunes for this service? Or is it too good to be true? Let us know in the forums