Free Record Shop takes on iTunes in Europe

“In a bid to compete with Apple’s iTunes digital music downloading service in Europe, a Dutch record company has launched a web site offering 250,000 tracks from five major record labels. Free Record Shop Holding NV, which sells music, films and games at stores around northwest Europe, debuted its Dutch and French-language Web sites Tuesday,” The Associated Press reports.

“The sites received more than 500,000 Internet visitors in the first 24 hours, beating previous weekly records for all the company’s sites together, said Olaf Zwijnenburg, who is overseeing the introduction,” AP reports. “The service competes with popular licensed music download services such as iTunes which do not have the legal rights to sell the selection being offered by the Free Record Shop in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg… Unlike Apple’s iTunes store, which uses the AAC format, Free Record employs Microsofot’s WMA format.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How “free” is the Free Record Shop when visitors have to purchase downloads at prices ranging from $1.09 for a single song to $26.80 for a popular new double album?


  1. Well, I tried the FRS store and is SUCKS big time. Some examples:

    – some CD’s are more expensive if you download them compared to buying physically (‘Writing’s on the Wall’ from Destiny’s Child 9,99 euro, while downloading 17,44)
    – Some songs can not be downloaded, only bought physically
    – You can only keep the songs on one computer (lost computer, lost songs)
    – No iPod support
    – Only 3 burns allowed
    – Very, very bad lay-out

    I live in Holland and if I believe the reviews I read you can rest assure that itthis ‘thing’ doesn’t have ANY chance for survival against iTMS.

  2. Unlike Apple’s iTunes store, which uses the AAC format, Free Record employs Microsofot’s WMA format.

    This online news source needs a better editor. I did not realize some company called Microsofot made the WMA format. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Getting a large number of hits on a site that uses the name ‘Free record’ is not difficult.

    Selling tracks to a worthwhile proportion of those potential users is quite different.

  4. 500,000 “visitors” means that they have to pay their advertisers (if there are any) for that many “hits”. Sure is long, long way from 500,000 “buyers”… now that would have raised an eyebrow.

  5. Of course, they get visitors. Anybody who types “download AND music AND free” into his search machine will end up there, discover it isn’t free at all, and go back to his google hit list.

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