Wednesday, August 30, 2006

SpiralFrog

Yesterday's big news was SpiralFrog, a company that allows free downloads in exchange for advertising. While I applaud Universal's entry into this marketplace (as I believe that ads can sustain a music model) I don't see how SpiralFrog can work- given the obstacle course a user needs to run just to listen to, nevermind keep, a song.

Neither do the folks at PCWorld:


The service, due later this year, will be offered by a company called SpiralFrog, which says it would like to sign deals with the other major music labels. Watch a 90-second ad and you can download a song; watch a two-minute one, and you can download a video; to keep them, you'll need to return to SpiralFrog's site and watch more ads. The music will be free, but not freely available, and because the music and copy protection are wrapped up in Microsoft's WMA format, the tunes won't play on the vast majority of audio players out there (read: iPods).


What kid is going to waste any time watching ads to get a song. It's WORK. Advertising works best when it's not a roadblock to the content you want. At a baseball game, do you have to watch a commercial on the big screen before every pitch? No. The ads are in the background and don't impede the experience.

Clearly those involved at this company are executives who are far removed from the reality of the current music marketplace. It's musical lipstick on an advertising pig. (apologies to pigs everywhere)

5 comments:

misterorange said...

Agreed. This is just beyond stupid.

At least we get to watch it fail in style...

BW said...

I had lunch just now with someone who wasn't as down on it as I was. Their point was if they stripped off some of the layers (like the DRM) and made the advertising a bit more reasonable, there could be something there. Although I doubt either will happen anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand they have nowhere to go but up from here. Everyone has reviewed this as being one of the dumbest ideas that all they have to do is come out with something half-way decent and we'd all be surprised.

There is no way in hell I'd sit through a minute and half of ads just to download one song when I can download it for 99 cents in a quarter of that time. Often times company underestimate peoples willingness to spend money to not to be annoyed. This is why iTunes has done so well. No ads, no spyware, high(ish) quality for a one click 99 cent download. Can you really beat that? Even a cheaper service doesn't beat that. Wal-mart was less than 99 cents and it didn't last because when you get down to pennies, no one gives a shit and they are especially not going to watch an ad to not pay it.

90 second ad for an entire album I'd do. 90 second ad for one track, versus 99 cents for that same track? fuck it, i'd much rather pay.

This idea is the reason why the music industry failed the way it did....because they actually listen to what 58 year old fat Italian men in suits have to say about younger generations.

BW said...

If they can fix what is wrong... yes. It will be an interesting way to provide free music. As it is... no.

Dave K. said...

they are just grasping at straws...they should just let you download the songs "while" looking at ads...that I can understand...