SpiralFrog’s Finally Alive. But For How Long?


As reported,ad-supported music service SpiralFrog launches today. The one new nugget of new info in the launch chatter is the split of the advertising revenue the company hopes to generate. It’s essentially the same as the iTunes model: the music industry gets two-thirds.

The more important question for SpiralFrog is whether it has any chance of surviving.  Again, we don’t think so. We believe SpiralFrog has a flawed business model, which asks consumers to jump through multiple hoops (download special software, visit site at least once a month watch ads, only use Windows PCs) in exchange for a service that’s less attractive than existing options: the downloaded music doesn’t work on iTunes or iPod, and the catalogue includes just one of the big four music labels. Spiralfrog has also burnt through $12 million in two and a half years and says it needs another $18 million to survive the next 12 months. Release after jump.


SpiralFrog’s Web-Based Music Experience Combines Music Discovery and Free Downloading

New York – September 17, 2007 – SpiralFrog, Inc., ( www.spiralfrog.com) the free ad-supported Web-based music experience, today announced the launch of its digital music Web site in North America.  SpiralFrog is set to change the way people discover music by providing a robust mix of artist-related content, an active and engaging experience and a viable alternative to piracy.

“Music fans demand fast access to high quality audio and video files and they want their music free, but they’d still like the music owners to be paid for their work and creativity,” said Joe Mohen, chairman and founder of SpiralFrog.  “Our answer to this seemingly impossible equation is to allow our audience to download songs and video at no cost—other than their time and attention—and to compensate music owners by sharing the ad revenue.”

SpiralFrog will allow music enthusiasts to feed their addiction to music discovery and music acquisition through free, legal and unlimited downloading.  The SpiralFrog site will allow anyone to access and download files from a library of more than 800,000 songs and 3,500 music videos, with new content being added every day.  Music fans also will be able to view millions of artist bios, reviews, discography and album art, among other rich content features.

“Research has shown that music enthusiasts have traditionally gone to one site for discovery and another for downloading,” said Mel Schrieberg, SpiralFrog’s CEO.  “SpiralFrog will offer both.”

The user experience on the SpiralFrog Web site is designed to be intuitive and easy to use.  A clean and uncluttered layout keeps users engaged and active.  Extensive search capabilities will allow users to search by artist and by genre, letting them easily find both new artists and the music they love.  Users will have tools that allow them to share music discoveries and rich content with friends, and also get dynamic search results based on the preferences and activities of others.

As part of the SpiralFrog experience, users will see relevant, targeted advertising that does not interfere with their enjoyment of music.

“SpiralFrog will integrate advertising in a compelling way, so that we enrich the overall user experience while becoming a must-have channel for advertisers,” said George Hayes, SpiralFrog’s senior vice president of marketing and sales.  “The more we can make the advertising relevant to users’ tastes and demands through tailor-made programs and micro-targeting, the more potential we create for a meaningful experience.”

The SpiralFrog model provides the quintessential alternative to piracy and illicit file-sharing.  Despite efforts by the music industry and the availability of multiple digital music providers, BigChampagne estimates that only one in 40 downloads is paid for.  In contrast to file-sharing services, SpiralFrog offers free and legal music in a safe environment, with consistent quality and download time.  SpiralFrog users are never at risk of downloading viruses and never have to worry about adware or spyware.  On the business side, by sharing advertising revenues with artists, labels, publishers and performing rights organisations, SpiralFrog monetizes free music consumption.

Songs and videos downloaded on SpiralFrog will play on Windows PCs running XP and Vista.  Members can download to their PCs and synchronise their music with up to two portable music players or music-enabled phones that support Windows Media DRM.

“SpiralFrog is committed to solving music piracy by changing the way people discover music with free content, an engaging site and finally offering a real alternative to illicit file-sharing,” said Mohen.