Madison Ave Spirals Out Free Music Downloads

    August 31, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The purists and pirate-pardoning, and by that I mean anybody outside the business, know that music wants to be free. The world’s largest music company, Universal Music Group, seems to be the first megalith to get that. Before the end of the year, expect your music to ride freely on the back of a SpiralFrog, courtesy of Madison Avenue.

Startup SpiralFrog signed an agreement this week with UMG, to open up the company’s music catalog, which includes music from GWAR to Johnny Cash. Songs and videos will be available for download in the U.S. and Canada on an ad-supported network, complete with digital rights management (DRM) technology embedded. That means it has to stay on the computer if you want it for free.

“Offering young consumers an easy-to-use alternative to pirated music sites will be compelling,” said Robin Kent, SpiralFrog’s CEO. “SpiralFrog will offer those consumers a better experience and environment than they can get from any pirate site.”

That “better experience” he speaks of means the ability to download legal digital files (no RIAA legal notices) with no viruses or spyware.

“We want to provide the best environment for everyone – our partners and the recording artists, as well as consumers,” Kent said. “Piracy continues to be one of the biggest issues facing the music industry where illegal file sharing and unauthorized CD burning are the prime means of music piracy. Digital rights protection will help us combat piracy and provide peace of mind for the record labels and the artists.”

Kent cited research indicating that consumers are more than willing to ‘pay’ for their content by watching targeted advertising online, where ads are part of the usual landscape.

“We believe SpiralFrog will deliver an audience we highly desire and need to reach,” said advertiser Oscar Feldenkreis, Vice-Chairman, President and COO at Perry Ellis International, Inc.

“Our audience is heavily into music and can be more easily reached on the web. We see SpiralFrog as an ideal place for us to communicate and build lasting relationships with our core audience and which give us unique new revenue opportunities.”

The rhetoric they use takes to fun right out of it. Leave it to grey-suits to take free music and turn it into a PowerPoint presentation. Next they’ll be using the phrase ‘target audience.’

“Our target audience is the driving force behind the changes in how music is created, discovered and consumed,” Kent said. “They are the future of music.”

I knew it. A target audience is never the driving force behind how music is created, Mr. Kent. It’s the driving force behind how Paris Hilton is created, whom we can have less of, thank you.

SpiralFrog’s target audience is between the ages of 13 and 34, what Kent called “an advertiser’s dream.” Sigh. Is it a music-centric experience, too?

“This is the core audience we will attract by building a music-centric experience and destination that is second to none, legally delivering what the majority of users want – content they pay for only with their time. It’s content that advertisers are willing to pay for on their behalf.”

Figured as much. Better leverage your core-competencies and best practices in order to propel your client-server architecture into a ubiquitous multimedia experience. While you’re doing that, the rest of us are gonna rock the @$%! out!

Thanks for the free music anywayjust as long as you don’t pull an AOL or Sony and start rooting around in our computers and popping up advertising every 30 secondsyou’re not, are you?

SpiralFrog will launch in beta later this year.

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