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Free SpiralFrog to Challenge iTunes Model

SpiralFrog, the new music download destination, has signed an agreement with Universal Music Group (UMG), the world's leading music company, to make UMG's extensive catalog available for legal downloading in the U.S. and Canada via SpiralFrog's advertising-supported service.

SpiralFrog will offer users of its no-cost web-based service the ability to legally download music by many of the world's most popular and award-winning artists.

"Offering young consumers an easy-to-use alternative to pirated music sites will be compelling," said Robin Kent, SpiralFrog's CEO. "SpiralFrog will offer those consumers a better experience and environment than they can get from any pirate site." Kent highlighted some key factors - legal digital files with no viruses or spyware in a controlled client-server architecture, quick downloading, and quality songs and music videos by great artists as among the primary benefits users will gain.

Digital rights management technology is built-in to all audio and video content as part of measures the company and its partners are actively taking to address piracy. "We want to provide the best environment for everyone -- our partners and the recording artists, as well as consumers," Kent said. "Piracy continues to be one of the biggest issues facing the music industry where illegal file sharing and unauthorized CD burning are the prime means of music piracy. Digital rights protection will help us combat piracy and provide peace of mind for the record labels and the artists."

For Universal Music Group and other record labels, the service will also be compelling, Kent said. "Offering legally-authorized audio and video downloads in an advertising-supported environment works, as our business model is based on sharing our income streams from that advertising with our content partners like Universal."

Kent noted that the company's research revealed that consumers are more than willing to 'pay' for their content by watching non-intrusive, contextually-relevant, targeted advertising in an online entertainment environment where advertising is already part of the overall experience.

SpiralFrog's target audience - people between the ages of 13 and 34 - is an advertiser's dream, Kent added. "This is the core audience we will attract by building a music-centric experience and destination that is second to none, legally delivering what the majority of users want -- content they pay for only with their time. It's content that advertisers are willing to pay for on their behalf." SpiralFrog will launch in beta later this year.

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