By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Two new music download services are expected to launch this year, including a free music sharing service called SpiralFrog.
Start-up SpiralFrog announced it signed an agreement with leading music company Universal Music Group (UMG) to make UMG's catalog available as free, legal downloads through SpiralFrog's new ad-supported download service.
SpiralFrog's service is due to launch in December. By targeting 13- to 34-year olds — a demographic favored by advertisers — the site plans to support itself through advertising. SpiralFrog CEO Robin Kent said the site will offer “young consumers an easy-to-use alternative to pirated music sites.”
Later this year, Samsung also plans to launch a music download site in Europe. Perhaps taking a cue from Apple, Sony and soon Microsoft, the company will launch its own music site to work with a new line of portable music players including the new K5 (see portable MP3 story). The site will be available in the U.K, Germany and France later this year, to be expanded throughout Europe and Asia after the initial launch.
Samsung said the announcement pertains strictly to Europe and Asia and would not discuss plans for the U.S.
The site will be offered through a partnership with MusicNet, which supplies back office content and technology to download and subscription services. In addition, MusicNet will help set up Samsung “download stores” in the U.K., Germany and France. The service will offer more than 2 million licensed songs.
In addition, MySpace, a leading Web site among young Internet users, said it will enable artists and record labels to sell their music from MySpace by the end of the year.
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