Iíve had a few conversations with vested interests in the Qtrax debate (fiasco?) and a fair summation of the situation is that Qtrax doesnít yet have licenses in place from all of the labels but negotiations are ongoing.
Itís a real shame that Qtrax decided to play their hand this way. They have a potentially groundbreaking consumer proposition and they just need to have patience to work with the labels, who are having to contemplate radical changes to their way of doing business. Qtrax needs to keep the labels onside if it is to stand any chance of success, and unlike my colleague Michael Gartenberg, Iím convinced this stuff can work. Indeed, Spiral Frog already have a free ad-supported download service in place that already supports portability. So the labels and publishers are open to the concept of ad-supported. These services will need a lot of fine tuning over the coming 18 months, and some will fall by the wayside, but ad-supported will become a key element of online music. In fact there are some impressive early performance metrics which I will share with you in a few hours time once an embargo is lifted.