We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
 
74,953 News Articles

'Free iTunes' signs second label

SpiralFrog gets EMI's music catalogue

SpiralFrog has reached an agreement with EMI Music, one of the largest music publishers in the world, to use its songs and lyrics for a music download service scheduled to roll out in a beta version by November.

SpiralFrog, which announced its first deal with Universal Music Group last week, plans to offer free song downloads, with the service funded through advertising.

"This is just the start of signing major labels and music publishers to offer their catalogues to the users of SpiralFrog," said Neville Hobson, a spokesman for the company.

SpiralFrog is one of several technology firms and music publishers forging alliances in an effort to suppress illegal music downloading, blamed by record labels for falling sales.

SpiralFrog said its service will be a high-quality alternative to filesharing sites that are "characterised by poor-quality music, missing song details and spyware".

Music on SpiralFrog will be in Microsoft's WMA (Windows Media Audio) format and encoded with rules on how the track can be used, known as DRM (digital rights management).

The record labels will retain the power to set restrictions on how a song can be used, Hobson said. It's planned that songs will be playable on a user's computer and transferable to two portable devices.

But the songs can't be burned to a CD, and they can't be shared with other people, he said. The songs will remain playable only as long as a person regularly logs into their SpiralFrog account.

The choice of format means the content won't be playable on Apple's iPod media player, which dominates the industry.

Songs downloaded from Apple's iTunes Music Store will play on PCs or Macs, but can only be transferred to the company's iPod media players. Users can buy individual songs or entire albums.

But Apple's competitors are experimenting with other business models such as subscription services, which allow access to thousands of songs at a time as long as the subscription fee is paid, and advertising-funded free services, to lure users away.

SpiralFrog's deal with EMI will also allow users to search and display the lyrics from EMI's catalogue, the companies said.


IDG UK Sites

Amazon 3D smartphone release date, price and spec: The hologram phone?

IDG UK Sites

iPhone 5s review: why the iPhone 5s is still the best phone you can buy in 2014

IDG UK Sites

Passwords don't work: here's four ways to fix them

IDG UK Sites

The art of rebranding: Creative agency The Neighbourhood explains how & why it rebranded