The Continuing Story of Qtrax

As music consumption changes, new business models emerge. One such company, Qtrax is stepping out with one of the first advertiser-supported free and legal P2P file-sharing sites. Currently Qtrax contains DRM-laden music only suitable for Windows PC, but it plans to release a version for Mac OS X in March. However, as of now downloaded songs are only compatible with WMDRM players, effectively excluding Apple’s iPod. Representatives from Qtrax have declared that it is only a matter of months before a suitable iPod-compatible version is ready.
Qtrax was set to announce its software at the 2008 MIDEM conference, and did so by including statements claiming to have licensing agreements with all four major record labels. Unfortunately this claim was not legitimate and Qtrax had to retract. However, Allan Klepfisz, CEO of Qtrax, insists that even though such agreements were not set in stone, they were being finalized at the time and could be completed soon. Besides this initial setback, Qtrax has successfully embraced peer-to-peer sharing and attempted to link consumers and distributors, a move which may help plummeting music sales. Though the industry has observed a slight increase in digital sales, it is certainly not nearly enough to offset the continual downward spiral of CD sales. Qtrax hopes to improve matters with its service.
As of January 29th, 2008 the site is up and running, but only provides users search capabilities for particular songs. Qtrax claims it will soon contain 25 million songs, a figure that if true, could make it a pioneer. Questions remain.



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