Dalton Caldwell is finally finding his groove. His Sequoia-backed social network, Imeem, started out a couple years ago as a standalone, instant-messaging application. He soon scrapped that in favor of a Web-based social music site. But then, a victim of his own success, Imeem was banned from MySpace and threatened with a lawsuit from the Warner Music Group.
Caldwell, though, has turned all of that around, and made Imeem into a legitimate, ad-supported music streaming site. He won over Warner Music, which dropped its lawsuit and licensed its entire catalog of songs to Imeem in return for a share of the advertising revenues associated with its music. In fact, Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. found the relationship with Imeem important enough to highlight in Warner Music's most recent earnings conference call.
Now, not only can you listen to songs from indie groups like The Essex Green (and embed them on your blog):
But you can also also listen to Warner Music acts like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and embed (30-second samples of) those as well:
Imeem claims 16 million unique visitors in July, 10 million registered users and more than one million unique logins a day. Third-party measurement site Compete.com puts the number of unique visitors at 4.6 million, but shows that U.S. traffic is growing and beating both Last.fm and Bebo (see graph above).
Comscore shows Bebo slightly ahead of Imeem in the U.S., with 4.4 million visitors in July versus 3.9 million for Imeem (and 1.8 million for Last.fm), but more notably shows an astounding 4,224 percent growth in traffic for Imeem compared to the same month last year. (This compares to 112 percent growth for Bebo, and 59 percent growth for Last.fm). No matter how you slice it, Imeem is rocking.
Caldwell dropped by my office earlier this week to explain his strategy. He wants Imeem to become the first major ad-supported music streaming site, and he is working on landing deals with the other major labels to make that happen:
If you create an adversarial relationship with the labels, you are screwed. If they want you to succeed, you will have a much easier time.