SpiralFrog is a mostly risk-free proposition for the major labels. The DRM on the ad-supported download service includes severe restrictions on burning CDs and sharing the music, and the tunes will reportedly expire after a period of months, that is presuming users log on repeatedly to view ads. Perhaps that’s why the company’s having so much early success signing labels, which can rest easy knowing that none of the music offered early on through the service will still reside — well, anywhere really, if the reports are to be believed — within a year’s time.
In any case, the second label to license its content to SpiralFrog is EMI, whose acts include Arctic Monkeys, Kelly Clarkson, Eminem, Enya, Nelly Furtado, Gorillaz, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Pharrell Williams. The deal includes lyrics as well as recordings. (press release)
SpiralFrog’s literature makes it clear the company has thoroughly focus tested teens’ interest in ad-supported downloads, but I wonder if they’ve taken into account the negative word of mouth likely to come from the discovery that the music can’t be kept — and in fact is not owned at all, but merely rented.
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