Universal Music is lending its support to digital music start-up, SpiralFrog, which will launch a free download service in December.

SpiralFrog will offer consumers free song downloads and will rely on advertising sales for its business plan. This strategy compares to Apple's pay-per-track model and existing subscription services.

The company is understood to be in talks with other major music companies to launch its service.

"Offering young consumers an easy-to-use alternative to pirated music sites will be compelling," said Robin Kent, SpiralFrog's CEO.