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"imeem has developed an innovative way to make our artists' music a central part of the social networking experience. More importantly, they’ve done so the right way."
—-Doug Morris, UMG
UMG PACTS WITH IMEEM
Label Group's Arrangement With Online Streaming Site Includes Per Play Fee
Universal Music Group and imeem have struck a deal that will provide the site's social networking community with on-demand, interactive streaming of the music group's digital music and video catalog.
 
With the announcement, imeem becomes the first social networking company to offer full-length, streaming access to the entire music and video catalogs of all four major music companies on an advertising-supported basis. The company claims to have more than 19 million users, who will now have access to Kanye West, Amy Winehouse and the rest of the UMG stable.

According to sources familiar with the deal, UMG chief Doug Morris has secured not just the 50-50 ad revenue sharing arrangement each of the three other labels struck with the site, but a minimum per play as well, which is reportedly less than a cent.

Said Morris: “Universal Music Group is committed to exploring new ways for consumers to discover and enjoy our artists’music online. imeem has developed an innovative way to make our artists' music a central part of the social networking experience. More importantly, they’ve done so the right way, by working with UMG to provide an exciting musical experience for consumers, while ensuring that our artists are fairly compensated for the use of their works.”

Added imeem founder/CEO Dalton Caldwell: “This is a significant step forward for imeem and a defining moment for social networking and ad-supported music. imeem has pioneered a way to bring fans, bands and brands together in a way that’s good for everyone. Our agreement with UMG will make imeem’s media-centric experience even more compelling, and firmly establishes our position as the leading social media network.”

imeem says there are a number of companies lined up tor advertising and brand sponsorships, including Apple, Nike, Microsoft, AT&T Wireless, Scion, T-Mobile and Puma.

imeem combines a social networking site with streaming music, video and photos, encouraging the legitimate sharing of the content. Morris' per-play minimum will help establish the terms of other similar streaming agreements, especially those services which utilize an ad-supported model.

This follows the hard line stance he has been taking on music videos and audio on demand, recently forcing all UMG artists on MySpace to cut their online streams to 90 seconds, as he continues to carve out secondary revenue sources.


 
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