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Imeem's free music deal with Universal

By Oz_Media ·
The beleaguered music industry is beginning to show more enthusiasm for free, advertising-supported business models. The latest sign: Universal Music Group has agreed to provide its songs to online social network imeem. Imeem now boasts deals with all four major record companies, including Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Group, all of which have already inked deals with the social network. It?s a sharp turnaround from earlier this year, when none of the majors were willing to sign on to imeem?s new ad-supported interactive service. In fact, Warner sued imeem, arguing that by allowing its members to upload and share MP3s of Warner music, it was infringing on its copyrights.

But in July, Warner dropped its suit and struck a partnership with imeem under which the major label allowed free, full-song streaming of its music in exchange for a cut of imeem?s advertising revenue. Sony-BMG Music reached a similar deal with imeem in September, followed by EMI in October and now Universal. A source familiar with the Universal pact said the label is also receiving a small payment each time one of its songs is streamed. Fueling the shift is the music industry?s continuing struggle with sliding sales of compact discs, which still account for the vast majority of their recorded-music sales. Revenue from paid music downloads continues to grow, but isn?t close to making up the difference. Imeem claims to have 19 million users; deals with major labels and leading independent music companies will help it grow that audience further. Finally some good news.

From rlslog

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Good to see

by Jessie In reply to Imeem's free music deal w ...

It's good to see that some of the major players are finally starting to look at the internet as just another radio station. The fact that it's now, not just legal, but no longer frowned upon should increase their exposure and maybe even boost those flagging CD sales.

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Another benefit

by Oz_Media In reply to Good to see

The big four will finally realise that they only sell the good releases and will be forced to create beter recordings, better artists and better quality music overall in order to sell it. They won't be able to sell a CD with only one decent song on it because people will only download the single. People won't get sucked into buying full CD's to get the one song they want.

As the Buggles once sang "Video killed the radio star".

Well perhaps they will regroup and release "Internet killed the rip off labels"

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