Free All Media has secured seed funding to launch its FreeAllMusic.com ad supported free digital music service in late 2009. The initial round includes founding investor, Scott Barber, CEO of Reform Records, and Free All Media’s CEO Richard Nailling. FreeAllMusic.com will offer ad supported songs without DRM for free download.
The fact that neither of the top execs come from the music industry could offer fresh perspective. CEO Nailling worked in Hollywood in TV and interactive and #2 Brian McCourt helped fund the original "Blair Witch Project" and is a long-time brand sales veteran and consultant.
In an exclusive interview, CEO Richard Nailling explained how FreeAllMusic.com differs from other free music sites:
Q: Are the downloads ad supported?
NAILLING: Yes, each individual download is sponsored (purchased for the user) by a brand. The chosen sponsor owns 100% of the download sequence on our site.
Q: How are the ads positioned or added?
NAILLING: One (required) video Ad (15-30 sec.) will be shown on our site to the user before the song is downloaded. No more ad viewing is required or contained in the song file itself. While the song is downloading the user will also be exposed (exclusively) to other clickable display ad units from that brand sponsor. User-informed promotional ads outside FAM are also part of the display ad package for advertisers, but our FAM user does not see those ads.
Q: Have any major labels signed on?
NAILLING: We have one major label signed and intend to have all four majors signed by our launch date.
Q: How have publishers reacted?
NAILLING: We are not a streaming site. Downloads only. Publishing is covered in our label deals.
Q: Do you see Spotify and other streaming services as competition?
NAILLING: We are building a free site that works for both advertisers and consumers. In the major streaming models advertising is looked upon as the ‘necessary solution’ for funding the free model while they try to convince users to pay. In addition, streaming audio sites are not a truly effective medium for digital advertisers. People don’t watch banner ads while they stream music.
Downloaders are much more willing to watch and be engaged with advertising in return for the content.
We’re a site that people will visit to get (permanent unrestricted ownership) of the hits for free, and they’ll trade a little of their attention as part of the deal. We will make it easy for our users to get a weekly dose of the top 20 hits (in their favorite genre) and get free, legal ownership of those tunes in an easy and entertaining way.