SpiralFrog: iTunes Killer is Dead, Music Soon to Follow
Article by George Norman
On 23 Mar 2009
SpiralFrog, the ad-supported online service that allowed users to download and listen to music for free, has been shut down as of last week. The site, which was launched back in 2007 and which became one of the largest music sites in North America, had to be taken down due to monetary issues. To put it simply, the ads alone could not support the site financially, and as the financial problems added up, it was only a matter of time until SpiralFrog would croak.

Reports on the web citing sources close to SpiralFrog have it that the company had to borrow more than $9 million from various sources, including hedge funds, in order to keep operations afloat. Being unable to pay off the debt, SpiralFrog hat to shut down its operation and all assets have been handed over to creditors.

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Although this is bad news for a lot of people, one has to notice the irony of the situation: SpiralFrog was once deemed as an “iTunes killer”, but while iTunes is still doing well and has been recently updated to iTunes 8.1, the frog has croaked its last croak (the pun was intentional, yet again). There is yet more bad news to report upon: the music you downloaded for free, since it is not DRM-free, will stop working in about 2 months’ time.

According to Christopher Levy, avid supported of DRM (Digital Rights Management), users should not feel bad about losing the music: “[Protecting songs with DRM] was the only way that SpiralFrog could offer the model. The record labels refused to go to market without it. This was a very good business proposition for consumers. They received free music as long as they agreed to be bombarded by advertisements...I think it's hard to criticize the company...I think 60 days is very impressive.”

Tags: SpiralFrog, iTunes, DRM
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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