MySpace Replaces Embedded Imeem Playlists With Ads

By friend of the AAA, Eliot Van Buskirk at Wired Magazine

Imeem users, bloggers and web users are in for another nasty surprise following MySpace’s acquisition of “certain parts” of the service. MySpace has replaced Imeem songs and playlists embedded on blogs and elsewhere on the web with advertisements for generic ringtones and the MySpace Music service.

Not only are users’ playlists offline until MySpace Music manages to reconstruct them all by hand, but imeem songs and playlists appearing elsewhere on the web have been replaced by bright orange ads for Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and Jay-Z ringtones and MySpace’s music service. Talk about a bait-and-switch.

A MySpace spokeswoman confirmed on Friday that MySpace is responsible for the ads (updated). The Flash code for the ads in question (example) are hosted by the MySpace Music site iLike, and some of the ads say “Create a playlist on MySpace Music, it’s free.”

We witnessed firsthand this playlists-for-ads land grab, having used imeem to embed songs and playlists on the Listening Post blog. The ad-supported imeem music service featured a huge catalog and allowed third-party sites like ours to stream full songs, allowing us to play the music we were talking about without securing permission from each copyright holder.

Imeem ultimately couldn’t keep up with its licensing payments, and MySpace swooped in to pick through the wreckage. Now, thousands of independent artists are not being paid money they’re owed and countless posts on Listening Post and elsewhere on the web feature not Imeem’s songs or playlists, but rather advertisements like the ones pictured to the above right.

Granted, MySpace bought Imeem’s system for embedding songs and playlists and is free to do with it as it pleases, and the ads aren’t clickable (as of midday Thursday ET). But they sure look obnoxious.

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