Although the departure of several high-level executives from the yet-to-launch ad-supported music service Sprialfrog prompted widespread speculation that the company is in dire straits, company founder Joseph Mohen informs that both a public launch and additional label deals are imminent.

"We have shuffled the deck a bit," he says, referring to the departure of CEO Robin Kent, as well as several board members with close ties to the music industry over the holiday break. Since then the company announced the addition of boardmember Jordan Levin, the former CEO of the WB TV network.

Mohen says the company has hired several other executives to the team, but declined specify their names or titles. He says announcements on the details of these new members are in development.

"We've been at this four years," he says. "The people that got us to this level are not necessarily the people to get us to the next level. In 2006 we were a development-stage company. Now we're turning into a production medium more akin to a TV network than a Web site."

Plans for the ad-supported music service have not changed, he adds, saying reports that the company is considering pursuing a closed-ecosystem approach a la iTunes or Zune are untrue. "We're not trying to seek our own ecosystem," Mohen says. "We wish to support the broadest range of devices possible."

The service will rely on Microsoft's PlaysForSure music subscription technology, much like Napster and Rhapsody. Users will need to login to browse and download tracks, but will not be able to burn them to a CD. While tracks can be transferred to PlaysForSure portable devices, users will have to login to the service at least once a month to refresh their licenses.

Instead of paying a per-month fee, however, Spiralfrog users will access the service for free in return for viewing ads. Counter to what's been written about the company, the service does not require users to view an ad while downloading tracks. Rather, the site will have various types of ads -- from banner, to video, to streaming ads, etc. -- that users will view as they navigate the site. Additionally, there is no sunset date on any files as long as members regularly login.