"Sunday we discussed apparently great news: a company announced making a deal with the major labels to provide DRM-free, ad-supported music. There's just one problem with that. Reuters reports that the Big 4 music labels have denied having any deal with Qtrax. Contrary to Qtrax's reports, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner had publicly denied that they had agreed to back the new Qtrax service. Universal Music, the largest of the group, said it also had not signed a deal for the new Qtrax service and is still in discussions. EMI Group said that while its song publishing unit has an agreement with Qtrax, its recorded music arm, EMI Music, does not. EMI Music, Sony BMG and Warner all previously had agreements with Qtrax, which was testing a paid music download service. Sources say those agreements expired in the last year and did not cover the new free, ad-supported model now being promoted by Qtrax. Qtrax did not immediately respond to further queries about its agreements with other companies."
Qtrax.com - Launches today with a catalogue said to be of more than 25m songs. Users will be able to download for free but must watch streamed ads and can't burn songs to CD or, at least initially, transfer them to their iPod.
We7.com - Backed by former Genesis frontman and internet visionary Peter Gabriel, it secured another £3m in funding last week. Free downloads are supported by 10-second audio ads attached to the song.
Imeem.com - Following two years of negotiation, the US social networking site became the first to agree deals with all four major labels in December. Users can watch any music video or listen to any song within the site. Its UK launch will be later this year.
MySpace.com - One of the first, and still most popular, social networking sites with music at its core.
Last.fm - Recently signed a licensing deal with all four major labels and indies to allow any track to be listened to up to three times.