SpiralFrog Is A Joke

// September 17th, 2007

The hype machine announced the launch of the delayed & much-ballyhooed free ad-supported music download service SpiralFrog today - a self-proclaimed iTunes competitor (are these guys for real?). The service offers free song & music video downloads that are preceded by 90 second commercials in MSFT’s WMA format with PlaysForSure DRM.

Beyond the major problem that no one wants to hear a 90 second commercial before every song they listen to (goodbye playlists!!!), WMA files aren’t compatible with iPods (~80% of the mp3 player market) nor Microsoft’s own Zune player! But things get even worse. There is no burning to CD available and registered users must renew their subscription every 30 days to keep downloading music & every 60 days to keep listening to files they have downloaded. So far, SpiralFrog’s catalog consists of about 800,000 songs from Universal Music Group & some independents. This service is basically rendered DOA - dead on arrival.

It’s yet another new internet service that gets the hype, but just doesn’t get it. It’s a joke. I wonder if anyone behind this stupid idea of a company actually downloads music or has a clue who their consumers are.

Maybe that’s why their initial launch was delayed for 10 months from last December, followed by the departure of its CEO Robin Kent, 5 executives & 3 board directors. Kent proclaimed last year that

Offering young consumers an easy-to-use alternative to pirated music sites will be compelling. SpiralFrog will offer those consumers a better experience and environment than they can get from any pirate site.

He must have been just saving face by trying to pretend he believed in this stupid idea before he was going to jump ship OR maybe he’s just never downloaded music before & thinks that kids haven’t either.

Would anyone actually want to use this service? We’ll soon find out, but let’s just say that the chances of me winning the Mega Millions lotto tomorrow night are looking much rosier than their chances of success.