Sony-BMG has agreed to work with ad-supported music service Imeem, reports Forbes.com’s Louis Hau. Sony joins Warner Music Group (WMG), who signed on with Imeem in July after suing the company for copyright violation. EMI tells us they are in talks with Imeem as well.
Imeem also has agreements in place with independent labels such as Nettwerk, Beggars Group, Matador Records, XL Recordings and other labels distributed by leading indie distributor companies IODA, The Orchard, Redeye Distribution and others.
In exchange for making their content available to Imeem users, Warner and the independent labels receive a cut of the ad revenue that imeem generates.
Registered users of Imeem can post songs or videos on their accounts and share them with other users. If Imeem has a content deal with the recording artist’s label, users can stream the songs or videos in full. If no deal is in place, users see or view a 30-second snippet of the song or video.
Imeem’s service is less ambitious than those of SpiralFrog and Qtrax, which are also trying to make ad-supported services work: It only works on a Web browser, and isn’t designed to provide listeners with downloads they can play on their iPods. Instead, it directs would-be downloaders to Apple and Amazon’s digital music stores. But by promising less to begin with, Imeem is able to deliver, and it doesn’t ask listeners to change their listening habits. It’s a much more promising concept. Forbes