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December 16, 2009 2:04 PM   Subscribe

"In the coming weeks, our team will be working to take the aspects of imeem that users love and migrate them to MySpace Music."

MySpace Chief Executive Owen Van Natta, on the purchase and shuttering of the most popular and broke music streaming service: Imeem, for less than a million dollars.

Meanwhile former users, from music bloggers to iphones app listeners to big sites like Wired (and Metafilter), are freaking out (perhaps unfairly) that their embedded songs and playlists are missing, and presumed dead.
posted by Potomac Avenue (24 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Weren't there paid accounts at imeem? Did those people lose everything as well? Are they getting a refund?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:06 PM on December 16, 2009


If they want people to adopt streaming music services as an alternative to piracy, they really ought to stop doing shit like this.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:08 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


"In the coming weeks, our team will be working to take the aspects of imeem that users love and migrate them to MySpace Music."

"In the coming weeks, our team will be working to take the aspects of imeem that users love money and migrate them to MySpace Music burn it."
posted by shmegegge at 2:15 PM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]




Does Murdoch get downloading-suit settlement kickbacks from the RIAA? Is there some sort of conspiracy to make stealing digital music the easiest means to obtain and retain it?
posted by griphus at 2:18 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


the aspects of imeem that users love

Do you mean, like, oh, I dunno ... NOT BEING FUCKING MYSPACE?
posted by Afroblanco at 2:22 PM on December 16, 2009 [13 favorites]


griphus: "Is there some sort of conspiracy to make stealing digital music the easiest means to obtain and retain it?"

Emphasis added.

I mean, not to derail the thread into Fruitless File Copying Shoutfest #426 or anything, but the only threats to my music collection are hard drive failure or someone breaking into my house. I don't have to worry about the calculations of Rupert Murdoch's bean-counters.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:26 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Myspace blows. And not only that, people in good conscious shouldn't even use it since it's owend by Rupert Murdoch who, in addition to employing Glenn Beck says he's "right" about Obama
posted by delmoi at 2:29 PM on December 16, 2009


By the way. There was no reason for them to do it this way. They could kept the old servers running and gradually moved things over.
posted by delmoi at 2:32 PM on December 16, 2009


So imeem acquired and then dismantled anywhere.fm, which was pretty fucking great (although I think everybody knew it wasn't destined to last long). And now imeem itself, a good-in-its-own-right but very different service, is itself being acquired and dismantled. When did music on the internet move to the airline and telecom company model?
posted by penduluum at 2:34 PM on December 16, 2009


Weren't there paid accounts at imeem? Did those people lose everything as well? Are they getting a refund?

In 2008, imeem launched a premium "imeem VIP" service that gives subscribers access to additional site features, most prominently the ability to upload more music to the site.
* The imeem "VIP" plans start at $9.99 per year for the "VIP Lite" plan, which gives people access to full streaming songs through the VIP player.
* The "VIP" subscription option allows uploading of up to 1,000 songs for $29.99 per year,
* The "VIP Plus" plan allows uploading of up to 20,000 songs for $99.99 per year
The "move" to MySpace was announced on imeem's blog (which is now down, but can be seen in cache). This mentions that "As quickly as possible, we will give imeem users easy ways to recreate your imeem playlists on MySpace Music" (emphasis mine). This makes it seem like the only thing that MySpace really bought was less than a million dollars of advertising, by way of URL redirects and the news that the blogosphere is in a tizzy. The only mention of VIP services is a couple posts down, back on June 28th, as a follow-up to the news that imeem would no longer host user images and videos (VIP access also allowed for greater picture and video uploads).

There was no reason for them to do it this way. They could kept the old servers running and gradually moved things over.

Unless the imeem server/licensing costs were beyond what MySpace wanted to cover. From the Washington Post story: But the fact is that MySpace didn't shut the Imeem service down. Imeem's creditors and the music labels did. If MySpace hadn't done the deal Imeem would have shut down anyway. The company was just out of cash and options...
posted by filthy light thief at 2:40 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


As far as I know, Myspace didn't buy imeem. They bought some of imeem's assets but did not assume imeem's debts. This is leaving artists unpaid.
posted by mkb at 2:42 PM on December 16, 2009


Does this included massive amounts of pirated music?
posted by empath at 2:44 PM on December 16, 2009


If they want people to adopt streaming music services as an alternative to piracy, they really ought to stop doing shit like this.

They being MySpace? The people imeem owed money? The problem is that streaming music costs money for storage and bandwidth, and I doubt there were enough VIP members and ad revenue to offset these costs.

If RIAA and other like-minded associations started their own streaming media services with all the money they get out of suing file-sharers and whatnot, things would be fantastic. But that's not what the RIAA is about - it's protection of IP and First Amendment rights, performing research, monitoring laws, and certifying sales records.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:48 PM on December 16, 2009


As far as I know, Myspace didn't buy imeem. They bought some of imeem's assets but did not assume imeem's debts. This is leaving artists unpaid.

That this is legal is just so completely absurd.
posted by graventy at 3:12 PM on December 16, 2009


Well, graventy, that's bankruptcy for you. It's actually a pretty good system that beats the hell out of, say, debtor's prisons. The idea is that if a person goes fiscally belly up for whatever reason, then the debtors have to take what they can get and walk away, instead of hounding the debtor with nasty debt collection tactics their whole life. Likewise, when a corporation goes broke, selling the assets gives a way for the creditors to get something back. Presumably, if the artists were still owed money, they would be given some portion of the (funds from the sale of the) assets as well.

There's a good case to be made that personal bankruptcy is massively underutilized in the US. In fact, BushCo passed some pretty gnarly laws diluting the strength of bankruptcy, to ensure that the corporate backers would be more able to extract every penny of debt from Joe Consumer...
posted by kaibutsu at 4:21 PM on December 16, 2009


If your business model involves essentially re-selling bandwidth with the requirement that you pay for your own bandwidth costs, and then license fees for each time that bandwidth is actually used (y'know, over and above the actual cost of that bandwidth), and relying on advertising to fill up the gaps, you are not allowed to be shocked that your business will perpetually be in the red.

Myspace is buying this to add functionality to their network, nothing more, nothing less; they are undoubtably considering this to be a loss-leader.

Take it from this angle: you know how traditional radio is having such a hard time selling ads? Yeah, make that ten times more difficult, and you have streaming Internet radio, with the added bonus that most people still can't listen to it in their car.

Streaming music doesn't f'n work, people. It didn't work for mp3.com. It didn't work for ArtistDirect. It didn't work for eMusic before they switched to pay-for-download. It didn't work for RealNetworks back when they tried that "Gold" crap. It just doesn't work.
posted by mark242 at 4:27 PM on December 16, 2009


The idea is that if a person goes fiscally belly up for whatever reason, then the debtors have to take what they can get and walk away, instead of hounding the debtor with nasty debt collection tactics their whole life. Likewise, when a corporation goes broke, selling the assets gives a way for the creditors to get something back. Presumably, if the artists were still owed money, they would be given some portion of the (funds from the sale of the) assets as well.

I think it's great for people. I think it's bullshit if MySpace can just buy the good parts and then feign ignorance about the artist's who were owed money. If they actually are at least partially compensated through the sale, then great, but something tells me the artists are pretty low on the debt totem pole.
posted by graventy at 6:38 PM on December 16, 2009


you guys don't like a flash-based turd that's buggier than a Louisiana swamp, plopped down in the middle of the ghastliest design available anywhere on the web? sheesh, nothing can please you people.
posted by porn in the woods at 7:06 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Glenn Greenwald says Obama wanted imeem to collapse.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:15 PM on December 16, 2009


I think it's great for people. I think it's bullshit if MySpace can just buy the good parts and then feign ignorance about the artist's who were owed money.

So if bob owes Steve money. And he goes bankrupt and you buy bob's car, does that mean that you owe Steve money?

If myspace just bought the assets, then they didn't really buy the 'company' just the companies 'stuff'
posted by delmoi at 3:24 AM on December 17, 2009


Streaming music doesn't f'n work, people. It didn't work for mp3.com. It didn't work for ArtistDirect. It didn't work for eMusic before they switched to pay-for-download. It didn't work for RealNetworks back when they tried that "Gold" crap. It just doesn't work.

Don't confuse the process with the product vendors. Soma.fm and Pandora are both working just fine. The only issues I've see from them are directly caused by music publishers - licensing, fees and such.
posted by anti social order at 7:13 AM on December 17, 2009


So if bob owes Steve money. And he goes bankrupt and you buy bob's car, does that mean that you owe Steve money?

If myspace just bought the assets, then they didn't really buy the 'company' just the companies 'stuff'


Again, I think treating corporations the same as humans was a dumb mistake from the beginning. And I understand the process, I just think it sucks for the artists, the actual users of the site, who are most likely at the bottom of the debt pile, and won't end up seeing a dime of the money they should have earned.
posted by graventy at 8:00 AM on December 17, 2009


imeem jumped the shark a while back anyway. i hadn't visited in years.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:34 AM on December 17, 2009


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