Music giant Universal Music is supporting a new web site that allows visitors to download songs free of charge, in exchange for viewing adverts.
With a suitably odd name, Spiral Frog will launch in December – initially to the US and Canada – in an attempt to lure illegal music downloaders away from those sites. Recent stats suggest that for every track downloaded legally, another 40 are downloaded illegally.
Eventually, Universal must be hoping that it can turn these reformed music fans into paying customers. Apparently, though, young consumers (you know, the stereotypical music pirate) will tolerate online advertising, so long as it’s relevant, if it gets them free tracks.
It will be interesting to see whether this model takes off and how long they can sustain it as a revenue generator based purely on advertising.
What do you think? Will it entice people intent on downloading illegal music? Will it draw people away from pay-services like iTunes?