Imeem picks Android, not iPhone, for mobile app

Social-music site's first phone application, free of charge, is built for Google's mobile operating system rather than the trendy Apple App Store. Also: it has no layoff plans.

Music service Imeem has released its first mobile application--and it's not for the iPhone. The application is designed for Google's Android operating system, first launching on T-Mobile USA's G1 handset .

The free app, which will be available through the Android Market, doesn't let users stream music on-demand. But they can create customized radio stations, check out recommendations, and buy music from Amazon.com's MP3 service. Because the application is connected to PC-based Imeem accounts, users can see mobile changes they've made, such as marking an artist as a "favorite," reflected on their Web-based profile. Right now, the only revenue stream is from affiliate sales with Amazon MP3, but executives say that will change eventually.

Pick your favorites on the G1 handset's Imeem app. Imeem

"It's the first time we've ever had a mobile version of Imeem, which is pretty exciting for us," Matt Graves, vice president of marketing, told CNET News. "It opens up an entirely new market for us, a new demographic, and a new market of people who may not have been exposed to Imeem before."

He said there wasn't a particular reason why Imeem chose the Android Market over Apple's App Store, currently the hot spot for mobile applications .

"I don't think it was Android over the iPhone. We are interested in reaching mobile consumers," Graves said. "It seemed like a good opportunity for us and a good platform."

While Imeem has "nothing to announce just yet" about an iPhone app, Graves wouldn't rule out the possibility of developing one.

Here's the other news from Imeem: it is not jumping on the Silicon Valley layoff bandwagon, or at least that's what Graves said.

"We started being conservative before it was apparent in the market that you had to be," he explained, adding that the company will have "no layoffs."

That's good news for Imeem, considering that some other companies in the digital-music space are suffering. Cash-strapped Web radio start-up Pandora, which has blamed the royalty fees for online streaming, let go of 20 employees on Friday .

"I can't really speak to Pandora's business," Graves said, "(but) the DMCA radio rates are reasonable, I think. I think that we've got a pretty varied set of revenue streams."

 

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