This weekend, I found an article about a new source for free music.
Funding has been secured for a new free music service called FreeAllMusic. This ad-based service provides DRM-free music downloads to customers at no cost. The "catch" is simply that prior to downloading a song, the customer must watch a 15-30 second video from the sponsor that owns the download sequence for the particular song. After the download is complete, no further advertisements are associated with the song; the owner has "permanent unrestricted access" to the downloaded material.
FreeAllMusic has come to terms with one major label so far, and plans to get all of the big four labels signed on by the time they launch. And since FreeAllMusic is not a streaming service, all of the publishing issues are covered in their deals with the individual labels.
Will FreeAllMusic be successful, or will it become just one more site in the vast field of various free music services? I can see it going both ways. The fact that they plan to offer DRM-free files is a plus. And it has been shown (Hulu) that short video ads preceding the product does not stop people from utilizing the service. But the fact stands that people continue to obtain music by other means without getting hung up with advertisements or legal mumbo-jumbo.
It will be interesting to see how the deals with the major four labels play out. With enough support from labels and artists, FreeAllMusic could potentially rise up in popularity and become another common means of obtaining music.