Feeds

EMI, Universal ink pacts with free tunes startup

FreeAllMusic (except for the video ads)

Application security programs and practises

Two major music labels have signed partnerships with a new ad-supported music startup called FreeAllMusic.com, which lets US users download free (and legal) songs in exchange for watching video commercials.

One week after Universal Music Group inked a deal to license its music, FreeAllMusic announced that EMI is on board with the service as well.

The website, which is currently running in private beta, allows registered users to download up to 20 DRM-free tracks per month (five per week, starting every Tuesday) after watching a "brief" video commercial per download.

Music fans then have a permanent copy of the MP3 to use with no DRM or further advertising attached to the file. No special software is required under the service either — although music selections and sponsoring brands are tracked and promoted outside the site via an unnamed digital advertising service. But FreeAllMusic claims that users can opt-out of the external advertising program if they choose.

Before downloading a track, users are given a choice of advertisers to pitch to them. After watching the commercial and downloading the MP3, the website will then display additional banner ads from that sponsor. The company said its taking a "walk before run" approach to building both its customer and advertiser base, but it has brands like Coca-Cola, Warner Bros., Zappos, and LG participating in the initial launch.

Although backing from UMG and EMI gives the service a better chance of surviving the sue-crazy, licensing clusterfuck that is the music world, that doesn't mean success is assured.

Last March, SpiralFrog — a similar ad-funded service that made splashy headlines and inked agreements with UMG and eventually EMI — shut down and surrendered its assets to creditors after unsuccessfully trying to make a profitable business out of free, ad-supported music. But SpiralFrog was often panned for locking down its songs with DRM long after online music stores like iTunes were beating the drum of unrestricted downloads.

FreeAllMusic may win points for choosing a DRM-free strategy for its downloads. But it still has to pay the music labels a royalty for each track and somehow eke out a living on ad revenue. And that's no easy trick. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.