SpiralFrog, a new online music service, has reached an agreement with Universal Music to offer free downloads of its songs. The service is entirely funded by advertising and is trying to reach similar deals with other record labels.
While the idea of free, legal downloads will likely appeal to consumers, record industry executives say it remains to be seen whether SpiralFrog can attract enough advertising revenue to pay record companies for their catalogs.
The site also needs to sign on other major labels, such as EMI Group Plc and Warner Music Group Corp., to offer enough songs to attract strong user traffic. Both record labels said they were in talks with SpiralFrog.
New York-based SpiralFrog said it intends to share advertising income with its partners.