updated 05:20 pm EDT, Mon October 29, 2007
imeem, a social network where users can share music, videos and other media on profile pages, will be offering a significant chunk of EMI Music's music and video content through an ad-supported online service. Artists such as Radiohead, Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, 30 Seconds to Mars, Norah Jones, Interpol, KT Tunstall, Daft Punk, Joss Stone, the Beastie Boys and others are included. The move is significant because many included bands, such as Radiohead, rarely offer their music in single-track format, preferring to stick with full album sales. The EMI/imeem partnership is the latest in a long string of efforts to dethrone Apple's iTunes as king of the digital download purchase heap.
In Late September, Amazon launched a service that offers every one of its songs as 256Kbps MP3s, allowing both owners of iPods and Zunes alike to buy music from the store with knowledge that it will work on their players and with audio quality above many competing stores. Universal Music Group is also reportedly attempting to form a subscription service. Called Total Music, the service would break from the traditional model of selling music by receiving direct control from labels themselves: Universal at a minimum would offer a subscription rate of $5 per month but would ask cellphone carriers and device makers to subsidize the cost themselves, effectively providing some users a free, unlimited service.