Forget itunes: free downloads on way
Last month was a happy one for the region’s net- connected music fans as SpiralFrog's chairman and founder confirmed to Windows Middle East that the recently announced free music download service will be made available to Middle East users.
In an exclusive interview, Joe Mohen told Windows: “We do plan to launch in the Middle East as the Arab speaking countries are a very important market to us.”
Although Mohen was unable to say exactly when the Middle East rollout of the as-yet-un-launched service would take place, he did comment, “We will be launching in the Middle East as soon as is practical.”
In addition to offering a wide variety of EMI and Universal’s English songs, the firm also plans to offer songs in other languages. “It is our intent to offer a complete catalogue of music in Arabic, Spanish and all other languages as soon as we are able,” said Mohen.
Mohen reckons Spiral Frog’s multi-lingual song selection will also help artists from the Arab region gain more exposure. “We believe that American and British consumers would be willing to listen to music in other languages, and we hope to be the medium by which Arab speaking artists and other music can get more exposure in the Anglo-markets,” Mohen concluded.
When launched, SpiralFrog will offer users access to roughly 300,000 tracks from artists such as Eminem, U2 and Abba. On the downside, users will need to sit through an advertisement before downloading each tune and tracks are expected to have a ‘digital life expectancy’ of six months. Crucially, these songs will not be compatible with Apple’s iPod music players, however users content to break the law will, of course, still be able to copy tracks from PC to CD and then back onto their ‘pods.
A current alternative to Spiral Frog is Apple’s iTunes music service, however this is not available in the Middle East. Also coming up is legal P2P service ‘Qtrax’, which has already secured music licensing deals with EMI and some ‘indies’.
At the time of writing however, Qtrax was unable to confirmed to Windows whether the service was destined for the Middle East.