Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Spiralfrog takes EMI

Don't you hate Spiralfrog as a name for that free download service thingy? It's so clearly been arrived at by a team of New York advertising executives who think they're hip it's surprising that it doesn't have a pair of Olivers Peoples glasses perched on it.

Anyway, their "listen to 90 seconds of advertising and then hear a song for free" offering has expanded today to include the EMI catalogue.

EMI are puffed-up like little sparrows:

"We are very pleased to help launch Spiralfrog," said Roger Faxon, co-chief executive of EMI Music Publishing - which has the largest music catalogue in the world with over one million copyrights.

"It is a very exciting concept which fuses advertising with music downloads and other services to recapture consumer demand which has been hijacked by online piracy.

"Anytime we can create a new revenue stream for our songwriters and combat online piracy, you will see EMI Music Publishing leading the charge."

Well... not so much leading as trailing behind Universal. And we're not so sure that it's that exciting a concept, either, as surely the advertising + free model was introduced last April by Napster, in a bid to try and stop its mounting losses?

That move helped Napster lose seven percent of its already tiny subscriber base in the quarter to June 30th, suggesting that the provision of free, legal downloads (still hobbled with DRM but additionally encumbered by adverts) doesn't recapture consumer demand that's been "hijacked by piracy" but, instead, merely turns already honest consumers into ones who choose not to hand over any cash.

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