Universal Music Group is partnering with new ad-sponsored digital music download service FreeAllMusic.com to let anyone download music from the record label’s artists, which include Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Jay Sean.
Via Free All Music’s platform, thousands of tracks will be offered at a rate of 20 free downloads per month, five per week, starting every Tuesday. The recently launched FreeAllMusic.com, which appears to be in private beta, lets users access downloadable, high-quality, iPod-compatible MP3s of advertiser-paid, free, legal, and unrestricted song. The catch: users watch a video commercial per download on the site, Users’ music selections and sponsoring brands are then promoted externally through an opt-in, digital advertising network.
To download a free track, users can select a participating brand and then need to watch a video advertisement from that brand. Brands who are participating in the initial launch are Coca-Cola, Warner Bros, Zappos, Lionsgate, LG, and others.
Universal Music has long been a little trigger-happy on the lawsuits against music and video sharing services (MySpace, Veoh and its investors, Grouper / Bolt.com, etc.), so its interesting that the startup has been able to bring on the record label. With the ad-supported downloads, FreeAllMusic may have found a way around the music label’s onerous fees. According to a New York Times article from December, FreeAllMusic has already signed on another record label but declined to name the new label.