Just An Online Minute... SpiralFrog Hits Snag
At this point, the reason for the departures is unknown -- as is the effect they'll have on the company's business. A phone call placed to SpiralFrog this morning hasn't yet been returned.
Last summer, SpiralFrog announced it intended to launch a music service offering free ad-supported downloads. At the time, the plan was to require users to spend about 90 seconds per track, or two minutes per video, navigating through pages that displayed ads next to photos, articles or other content.
SpiralFrog last year said it signed up Universal Music and BMI, as well as some independent labels, in anticipation of its launch.
The apparent disarray at SpiralFrog comes at a time of increasing experimentation around online music. Yesterday, Ruckus Networks announced it was extending its free ad-supported music service to any Web user with an .edu address. Previously, only students at schools that had agreements with Ruckus were eligible for the service. But users only have access to the music while they have a valid .edu address; after that, they'll have to pay Ruckus a subscription fee.
Snocap, the company started by former Napster creator Shawn Fanning, also just forged a deal with Merlin, a new agency representing independent labels. Through this deal, Snocap will be able to sell music on MySpace.