Remember Qtrax? The supposedly legit ad-funded free-to-use P2P file-sharing network that claimed it had all the majors on board and was ready for an imminent launch at MIDEM 2008, only to later admit that it had no such deals. It did then sign up some record companies and music publishers, but only to a DRM-heavy download service that never really took off, despite further bold promises.
Well, now an all-new Qtrax is seemingly ready to launch, apparently this week in the US with Philippines, India, Chile, Singapore and Malaysia to follow soon. Still seemingly free, and therefore still ultimately ad-funded, the all-new Qtrax is still very confusing. And although its pre-launch preview site lists music from all four majors and a raft of indies, only EMI has confirmed it has a deal with the digital company, and then only on a “short term agreement”.
So, who knows what is going to happen this time around. Are MOG, Rhapsody, Pandora and, when it launches in the US, Spotify about to get another competitor in the digital music space, or will this be another false start? Keep watching people, keep watching.