Starting today, Microsoft's upstart music site will be offering a free download every day through Saturday. The daily freebie will be limited to the one editorial pick from Microsoft's MSN Music staff members that they think will win a Grammy in the song's nominated genre.
Of course, Mr. Softy isn't known for being the generous type. The five giveaways are being done to promote the fledgling service, and Microsoft is opening up the offer only to adults willing to pony up their credit card information. Why divulge your payment terms for a freebie? Well, Microsoft is naturally hoping that you will get hooked after the digital gifts and buy more in the future. That will turn many cheapskates away -- but that's probably the desired result.
In case you haven't noticed, things are starting to heat up when it comes to digital music. Napster
After 250 million digital downloads -- and another 200 million being given away through its promotion with PepsiCo
Either way, it's going to be an interesting time for the providers as they wrestle for supremacy, even if the promotional gimmickry proves crippling to near-term profits. Music fans: Listen up, because free legal downloads seem to be popping up just about everywhere.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz can set this take to a song if you would like. His band Paris By Air was once signed to Columbia Records. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.