Well it was bound to happen, the big labels are starting to see the light. Universal announced plans today to offer its entire catalog of music for free through a startup service called SpiralFrog. The project is supported entirely by ads.
Users of SpiralFrog will be able to load its proprietary software and play Universal songs in Windows Media Player and on two portable devices, the iPod is not supported. The catch, however, is that users will have to log into the site at least once a month to be inundated by ads. If users don’t log in once a month, the DRM’ed files will cease to function. I’m not convinced that ads will be enough to sustain this project, but it’s nice to see some forward momentum at least.
Universal to try ad driven music downloads through SpiralFrog – still with DRM [TechCrunch]
Universal backs free music rival to iTunes [FT]