A new music download service called SpiralFrog is hoping to challenge Apple’s iTunes service. To do so, it will take a slightly different approach: Free downloads. How will SpiralFrog make money? By using an advertising-based model. But if this sounds promising, just know that there are few requirements or limitations: Song downloads will be preceded with up to 90 seconds of advertising and you will need to visit the SpiralFrog web site at least once a month to maintain active licenses on your songs (more ads). You will also not be able to burn the songs to CDs or share them with other users. And if that’s not enough, the songs will permanently expire after 6 months (I assume that you could then download them again).
SpiralFrog has already signed an agreement with Universal Music Group (UMG) and is in discussion with other recording companies to further broaden its catalogue.
SpiralFrog expects to launch its ad-supported service in beta mode by late 2006 in Canada and the US.