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SpiralFrog signs EMI

SpiralFrog free music downloads non-MP3 WMA DRM not Apple iPod compatibleSpiralFrog, the ad-supported music-downloading service, announced Tuesday morning that it has signed a distribution deal with EMI, the country's fourth largest major record company (out of four). The news comes nearly two years after the company signed its first (and only other) major label deal, with market leader Universal Music Group. Ahh, remember when EMI used to be the first in line to support new business models online? At any rate, the deal brings an odd assortment of notable acts to SpiralFrog's roster of free downloads, including Coldplay, Norah Jones, Keith Urban, Frank Sinatra and David Bowie. Company chairman Joe Mohen has said he expects SpiralFrog to line up the remaining majors by the end of the year. Until it does, its service remains intriguing but incomplete, with a growing user base despite some handicaps that will be hard to overcome (e.g., it doesn't work with iPods).

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Times editorial writer Jon Healey pens opinion pieces about a variety of business issues, and blogs about technologies that are changing the entertainment industry's business model.

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