August 29th, 2006
As further evidence that technology is turning everything into media, Universal Music announced that it would be backing SpiralFrog, a digital music site that will attempt to transform the music business into a media business by selling advertising rather than charging fees:
Universal Music, the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest music company, is backing a start-up that will allow consumers to download songs for free. It will rely on advertising for its revenues, offering a different business model from that of Apple ComputerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s popular iTunes music store.
The move reflects music companiesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ willingness to experiment as they try to capture some profit from the boom in digital distribution still dominated by illegal file-sharing networks.
The service, SpiralFrog, represents a departure from AppleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 99 cents-a-song business model and other legal download services which charge a subscription fee by being completely free. It is due to start up in December.
So now we can add music to Software-as-a-Service (i.e. Google), online retail, and a parade of other Web-enabled and digitalized business that are trying to transform themselves into add-supported media.
You’ve got to pity the poor advertiser faced with figuring out how to allocate ad dollars across all these new media.