Ad-supported site to offer free music with a twist

When it launches in June, a new music service dubbed We7 that has been co-founded by pop star Peter Gabriel will start offering music to users free of charge via an ad-supported model. But, as Ars Technica reports, there will be a twist: the ads won’t be on the service’s website or even on a proprietary media player, they’ll embedded into the songs themselves. Those songs will have no digital rights management protection, but they’ll have 10-second advertisements inserted at the start of each track. Four weeks after downloading a song, users will be able to download an ad-free version.

Users may prefer to cough up the cash for DRM-free tracks from services like eMusic and soon Apple’s iTunes Store, but We7 could become a way to avoid the RIAA’s scorn for those who’d rather not pay for music at all. However, Ars suggests the service is a little ahead of its time, since record labels (excluding EMI) may still be reluctant to offer their music without copy protection.

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