Free Music Service iMeem Adds EMI; UMG Lone Holdout

EMI has signed on with iMeem, the social network built around legal music-sharing. This isn’t a shocker, as EMI told us last month that they were in talks with the service, but it is still a nice bit of momentum for iMeem, which was was fighting off lawsuits only last spring. The basic idea: Users post music from their own collections, and iMeem splits ad revenue with the relevant label whenever someone streams a song.

Warner Music Group (WMG) and Sony-BMG have also cut deals with iMeem, which means Vivendi’s Universal Music Group is the only major not on board. But UMG, which does have a deal with ad-supported music service SpiralFrog, has the largest share of the online music market.

TechCrunch worries that iMeem’s use of SnoCap to provide audio fingerprinting technology could be a problem, since the Shawn Fanning-founded company is struggling. But audio fingerprinting isn’t much of a novelty anymore, and if SnoCap really does go belly up, there are other alternatives out there. The real trick is figuring out how to  cut deals with  the labels without going broke, then generating real advertising revenue. Looks as if iMeem has at least figured out step one.

Related: Sony-BMG Joins Free Music Service iMeem

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