Watch an Ad, Get an MP3 Download: Genius or Goof?

Free All Music is innovative, but still might not work
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2009 2:34 PM CDT
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(Newser) – A new site thinks it has the answer the music industry’s woes: Free All Music will allow users to download a high-quality mp3 with no copy restrictions in exchange for watching a 15-second video ad of their choosing. The site then takes a user’s handle and uses it to produce another ad, for third-party sites, that announces what the user downloaded and who sponsored it. Users may download 15 mp3s a month—and perhaps more if Free All Music eventually sells more sponsorships.

The innovative ad scheme allows the site to sell multiple ads per download, but the business model still might not be sustainable, writes Michael Masnick for Techdirt. The site is modeling consumption patterns on iTunes, but iTunes pays record labels approximately 67 per download. Even with spinoff ads, it’s unlikely that FAM can wring 67¢ out of each download—so it will have to force record labels to settle for less.