Blog Post

Spiral Frog: RIP

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And so ends the life of another would-be iTunes competitor.

Spiral Frog, a Universal-backed subscription music catastrophe, has apparently called it quits. Though the service was “free” (using an ad-supported model), it still suffered from the five things that pretty much all subscription-based music models share:

  • A requirement for recurring activity
  • Limited content
  • Risk of losing music
  • Strict usage controls
  • Does not work with iPods

Needless to say, even without a monthly fee I was not impressed with the service.

The only thing truly unique about this one is that it could be argued you get what you pay for. Even then I think it’s a bad deal.

I visited the venture a couple months later when reports began surfacing that they were losing money hand over fist, and seemed to think a pro blogging campaign might save them:

Hmm, yes, good idea. Pummeling your users with ads isn’t working, so let’s get some of those Zune astroturfers to get on the Spiral Frog bandwagon.

Well, now I can pay my final visit (and respects) to Spiral Frog. They shut down Thursday:

A source close to the company told CNET News that SpiralFrog has ceased operations and assets have been surrendered to the company’s senior secured note holders.

Apparently, they went quietly and peacefully. Sadly (for them), I’m sure very few noticed. May they rest in peace.

31 Responses to “Spiral Frog: RIP”

  1. I have about a decade of music that I downloaded from SpiralFrog. It was music that I had already purchased on vinyl in the 80’s and 90’s. Does anyone know how to remove the DRM stuff around these files? I’d apprecioate any info here. I do know that the DRM might be purchased and re-used/re-posted online but, I dont want to wait for the next decade, again.

  2. Awwww! What!!! No more spiral frog! Where the heck have I been. Just tried to use it to get some music and found out it was gone. When entering it in the browser Mymojo music or something like that came up and that site wanted a credit card. I am also going to miss spiral frog. I loved alot of neo soul, 70’s soul, and pop tunes on there. Is there another place to get free music like the ones on spiral frog? Ohhhhh! No wonder the songs on my media player would not play when I tried playing them a while back. LOL. Duh, me.

  3. I loved Spiral Frog…i discoverd all kinds of great music on that site for my TechHouse Collection..then i just converted the files to remove the protection..damn i miss that site.

  4. Question about old spiral frog music that wasn’t converted yet: Is there anyway to still use it? I keep getting the “please make sure the file has a valid playback license” everytime I try. Need help. I would hate to trash all of the music I got from them. Thanks,

  5. Joe Trainor

    What a shame being as I worked with a good number of bands that shared there music with this site and did not want anything in return
    just exposure . There were all so many that were showcased at Powermad a networking convention for prog+powermetal who used this site to share there music with the world . Joe Stump ,Lethal,Michael Schenker, Event,Mystic Force, List to long to type. You will be missed spiral frog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How do I hack the lock off the the tunes and vids I have,that I wont be able to get anywhere else?

  6. Keep it real now

    Spiralfrog, was the best thing that hit the download music scene, I am listening to spiralfrog as I write this comment. Thank You Spiralfrog for all the free music you gave the world,you will be back, don’t change the name or the game, Thanks Again!!!!!!!!!

  7. I will miss Spiral Frog immensely. Just about all of the ‘0ldies’ I missed from long ago were available from Spiral Frog. Will sorely miss it (THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES).

  8. I applaud Spiral Frog and will sadly miss it. I could find both oldies and current songs that were my favorites. It seems like in today’s present society anything that is FREE is knocked off the boards. Thanks, Spiral Frog, for the many hours of listening pleasure that you provided me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Sadly, you are right. I used SpiralFrog, but did not notice it was gone until today… The day I would need to “watch” a freaking ad to keep my music playing… now I need to go through and erase about 300 dead songs from my library… yet another inconvenient truth about SpiralFrog.

  10. I miss Spiralfrog. It was awesome. I really didn’t care that it didn’t work with an I-Pod. That’s one player our of ???. Spiralfrog played on all our player and computers.Guess that’s why I don’t have an
    I-anything.

  11. This author is an arrogant ass. I know lots of people who used SpiralFrog. It was great for me; I listen to all of my music straight from the laptop. I don’t need iTunes. Oh well. I guess it is time to try and find another free and legal music site.

  12. Martha Carroll

    I was so upset when I tried to download some songs yesterday and found that Spiral Frog had shut down. I loved it. I found opera, classical, and oldies I wanted. It was so easy to search and use. Please come back, Spiral Frog!

  13. I found the site to be easy to navigate, easy to d/l from, and had an excellent selection of various music genres. Shame it’s gone, not sure where to d/l from now.

  14. Perhaps, because of the type of music I listen to, I was not so dissapointed in SprialFrog. I downloaded a lot of classical CDs and I will miss the site. It was easy to use, had good selection in classical and I don’t use an iPod.
    Such a shame…

  15. Tim Park

    I think the “Rub” in your top five would be it doesn’t work with IPods. I mean T.V. hasn’t worked well for the last 50 plus years. The idea of paying the Artists from advertising dollars will never work!! Mr. Reestman if you had taken some time to discover the site
    you may have found some great music, new and old that was available. At the same time you would know the people who created the music were being paid. I don’t think this site was meant to be an ITunes “killer”. Spiral Frog was a good idea that got bad press and was not well promoted. If ITunes is the only game in town we all lose… Competition is good. Thanks to all the employees of Spiral Frog. I discovered Elbow on your site and they are great.

  16. Some people are proclaiming that Spotify will do what Spiral Frog failed in achieving – kill off iTunes! It’s only available in Europe and it’s been getting great press; will it go the way of Spiral Frog? Or will this one actually work, make money by giving away music?.