Los Angeles – Qtrax, the developer of an ad-supported music
download service in development since 2007 that has missed a number of launch
dates, has signed "short-term" licensing deals with three major
labels and will launch in 30 countries next week, Evolver.fm reports. Qtrax has
signed EMI, Universal Music and Sony Music to new short-term licensing deals,
which will enable Qtrax users to download select tracks from the labels in
exchange for viewing ads.
A source told CNET the deals are three months in length, and intended "to allow the company time to try and raise money…Qtrax still owes some of the big labels money and must get caught up before the three-month period ends or lose the rights to the songs."
Songs downloaded on Qtrax are protected by digital rights
management (DRM), such that they may only be played using Qtrax’s proprietary
player — which utilizes Microsoft’s Silverlight technology.