Another free music download service officially opened its doors over the weekend, and already the hubbub over just how many songs will be available for download and from which record labels is threatening to overshadow any traction it might have seen as an advertising platform. Qtrax is the latest contender to join the likes of SpiralFrog and Napster in offering ad supported music downloads.
The beta version of the site promises over 25,000,000 songs and other material from artists like the Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz, but Qtrax may be making some legally questionable claims. Last April, Allan Klepfisz, CEO of Qtrax parent Brilliant Technologies, told ClickZ the company had signed on the music catalogs of three major labels. With the official launch however, Warner, EMI and Universal have all denied inking a deal. Sony-BMG was also referenced by Qtrax but it too denies approving a music sharing deal.
Qtrax is apparently still in talks with the labels, but it’s clear that at least until the contracts are finally signed the advertising opportunities available via the service will remain in question.