Imeem Now Officially Legitimate

Social network Imeem and Snocap have officially launched their previously announced partnership to prevent copyright infringement and pay artists for the songs that people upload and stream to themselves and others.

The pair and over 5,000 independent labels, like Nettwerk and Orchard, will pay artists on Imeem a share of the advertising revenue generated from ads that run along with the music. Artists previously allowed their music to be posted on the service for promotional purposes, but the new partnership provides greater incentives to join. Artists will be paid in proportion to the number of listeners they have with a “to be determined” revenue split with Imeem. It serves as a compliment for Snocap’s other digital store product that helps monetize music downloads.

On Imeem, you can mash up music you uploaded to the service in playlists and share them with your friends through their widget, which was popular enough to get banned on MySpace. Now you can’t upload just any song, though. Each uploaded song is checked by Snocap’s digital fingerprinting software against their library of 3 million tracks and allowed on the site if the artist has opted in. All of Snocap’s current artists have automatically been opted into the new ad driven service.

This move helps Imeem clean up its act in the eyes of labels and avoid lawsuits like the one Warner slapped them with earlier this year. There’s a lot of traffic at stake too. Imeem’s last reported traffic numbers were 16 million monthly unique users. Lala, who is also streaming full artist songs (no widget), but expects to pay over $143 million over two years in royalty fees. However, there are still quite a few services out there giving away and streaming music for free, both online and within social networks. Currently there’s two sets of rules, one for US startups and another for international ones.