Friday, March 20, 2009

End of a very short era

Spiral Frog, the ad-supported music network that was taking the world by storm has shut down.

Who, you say? Exactly. Most of you wouldn't have heard of them because their songs wouldn't work in iTunes or on the iPod.

While that left a 25% market share that could still theoretically listen to music from Spiral Frog, the fact is, few did.

Now the question becomes: was it because they eschewed the single largest market segment or because ad supported music is a broken model? It could be argued that people can make a nice living in the niche (the Macintosh, for example, and all the companies that surround it), but even Apple has reached out to the PC market with their iPods and iTunes. Could they have been as successful without a Windows version of iTunes? No. Would the iPod still be a going concern without it?

Actually, there are a number of other factors that could be at play. Ad supported music could be a fine model, but Spiral Frog's implementation might have sucked. For now, though, I'll stick with iTunes, where you'll soon be able to purchase the debut album from my band, Heavy Things. You will not find it, however, at Spiral Frog. Sorry.

No comments: