Warner Music Group and online community Imeem have partnered to stream ad-supported music and video on Imeem's free social media networking site.
The companies announced the move Thursday and said WMG had also dismissed its copyright infringement claims against Imeem. WMG filed a lawsuit against Imeem in U.S. District Court, Central District of California, in May. It claimed Imeem attracted about 16 million users, at least in part by allowing them to share copyrighted music.
The companies said their agreement results in the first free, ad-supported online access to all the music and video content from a major label. WMG is expected to get a portion of Imeem's advertising revenue in return. It's the latest in a series of moves by record companies to adapt their sales and distribution to industry changes driven by consumers turning ever more frequently to the Internet for entertainment.
"Our strategic partnership with WMG represents a very significant milestone for Imeem," Dalton Caldwell, founder and CEO of Imeem, said in a prepared statement.
"Music is a central part of the social network experience and a core part of the rich user experience for Imeem's rapidly growing community," Alex Zubillaga, executive VP for digital strategy and business development at WMG, said in a prepared statement.
"This deal provides an opportunity to unleash the value of music on one of the world's leading social networks by giving fans an environment where they can discover and share new music," Zubillaga said. "It also opens the door for Imeem and WMG to develop new strategies and products that will help introduce a more vibrant media marketplace to the social networking environment."