Free All Musicsounds like an interesting idea, but I’m not sure it has a chance for a number of reasons.
For one thing, I have serious doubts that the company will be able to strike content deals with all of the major labels. It’s hard enough to get all of them on side when the product is being sold at what could be considered a reasonable price point, so it makes sense that once any financial guarantees are off the table it would be damn near impossible.
But let’s pretend for a second that the impossible happens and they do make the deals. With the up and down nature of the online advertising market, who’s to say that revenue will be enough to cover what will surely be demands from the record industry that aren’t in line with reality and still allow the company to make money enough to pay the bills and bank a little for the future? Services like Amazon and iTunes have the advantage of knowing essentially what they can expect to make if X number of downloads are sold. Free All Music won’t have that luxury because of the nature of the business they’re in. In a way their real customers aren’t people like you and I who would go there to find a song, they’re large corporations and ad agencies who are trying to guess how much a given trend is worth. You can make all of the predictions you want, but trends are fleeting and what’s hot and bringing in the cash today you might not be able to give away tomorrow. Conditions like that don’t make for viable businesses when your major partners and content suppliers are people not known for their patience and flexibility.
There’s also the matter of the low download limit. For a lot of people, something like that would pretty much be a deal breaker. The idea is to get people away from the free peer to peer services and get them to use this website. Problem is that one of the things that makes those services so attractive is the ability to get a lot of things at once, no restrictions, nobody locking you out when you think of something else you want and saying no, can’t have, not yours. It would be ideal for those times when you hear something on the radio and want to get a copy before you forget what the hell it’s called, but most of the people I know generally go on binges, and this doesn’t allow for that.
I’ll likely try it out once it launches since it’s the best idea I’ve heard for a free service mainly because they’re not locking the songs down with DRM (a concept I never have and never will support), but I’m not holding out much hope for its long-term future. I’d love to be wrong, but I’m really not feeling it right now.