Free College Music Service


Looking to score some free music without having the RIAA on your behind?  Then check out Ruckus Networks,  operators of the Ruckus digital music network designed for college students.  Beginning today, Ruckus is offering up its service for free to all U.S. students with a valid .edu email address. Previously Ruckus had only been accessible by students at schools who had contractual agreements with Ruckus to provide music to their students.

Students can begin signing up for the service starting right now, and by doing so they will have access to free music from a library of over 2.1 million tracks, as well as a number of social networking features.  Users can set up and maintain profiles, participate in discussion boards, and create playlists of their favorite music.  According to Ruckus, several hundred thousand students have joined the service since its launch, and by opening it up to all U.S. college students they now expect their membership to increase exponentially.  Prior to today, Ruckus had agreements to provide the service to more than 100 schools across the country.  Schools that have agreements with Ruckus already will enjoy such perks as faster downloads which are enabled by local network facilities and access to video content as well as the music content.

“Free and legal digital music has just become broadly available to the most active and engaged music consumer group on the planet,” said Michael Bebel, Ruckus President and CEO, in a statement.

“This is a major milestone for Ruckus, but much more importantly, for the growing community of college and university students and faculty we have been interacting with for the past three years. We look forward to providing the same great user experience with an incredible library of content, to an even greater number of users nationwide.”

I’ve not yet tried out this service, but it does sound intriguing.  I think I’ll give it a go this week and check back in with details on my experiences.  It sounds pretty good, but I am somewhat skeptical of ad-supported services such as this.  As long as the ads are not obnoxiously obtrusive, then I’m okay with it.  If any of you have used this service before, or attend a school that subscribes to Ruckus, do you have any information or tips that you can share with us?  I’m sure we’d all love to hear it!

2 Responses to “Free College Music Service”

  1. AndySchmandy Says:

    Interesting find. I of course hit up wikipedia to find out more.

    It’s WMA/WMV PlayForSure DRM, probably on a subscription basis. Your subscription is “free” I’m assuming but that implies it will expire at some point (as opposed to iTunes where the song is yours forever but you can’t share it).

    I couldn’t find out during my brief browse of their site if the “ads” are web banners while you browse, “watch this before you get to download ads” or adverts stuck *into* the files.

    But here’s the juicy bit, from Wikipedia:

    “”Brody Ruckus” incident

    In September 2006, Ruckus attempted to create the single largest group on Facebook as a promotional tool. An employee started a fictional student account under the name “Brody Ruckus.” The group created under this name, “If this group reaches 100,000 my girlfriend will have a threesome”, drew membership on the claim that if 100,000 people joined, the fictional character’s girlfriend “Holly” would have a threesome with “Ruckus” and another woman. Within a week, the group had reached 100,000 members. “Brody Ruckus” then promised to post pictures of his sexual encounter online if 300,000 people joined. Within 7 days, the group membership had exceeded 400,000 and “Ruckus” wrote that if the group became the largest on Facebook, he would post a video of his threesome. Facebook administrators deleted the “Brody Ruckus” profile and his group, since it represented a breach in the site’s Terms of Service agreement, specifically with reference to: “impersonating any person or entity, or falsely stating or otherwise misrepresenting yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity.”

    In an interview with the online newspaper eSchool News, Ruckus President Mike Bebel said that the Brody Ruckus affair “was an exercise conducted by one of our marketing teams. It wasn’t something we had any real designs around. It took on a life of its own. It was a good learning exercise for us, but not something that we would repeat.” [8]

    In a letter to the editor of Student Life the student newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis, Bebel stated that “contrary to what has been reported in other media outlets … Ruckus did not use this [Brody Ruckus] profile to market the Ruckus service.” He also acknowledged that “the creation of the Brody Ruckus profile was ill-advised and I can promise that this tactic will not be repeated.”[9]”

    So this is the group behind all the “Brody Ruckus gets a threesome” drama on Facebook. Now the question is, do we support such shenanigans?

  2. Julie Says:

    Huh. That is an interesting find. Being a very casual visitor to Facebook, I was not aware of the “scandal”. It does sound like, however, an interesting marketing study.

    While I don’t condone deception and trickery, I do like to give people/companies the benefit of the doubt, and unless they screw up in a big way again I would not boycott them. I like to think that people can learn from their mistakes.