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Will MySpace save Imeem with acquisition?

MySpace is in talks to acquire Imeem, a music service that is once again running low on cash, multiple sources say.

Multiple sources are reporting that MySpace is in talks to acquire Imeem, the social-networking music service that has struggled with financial problems for some time.

Imeem

Peter Kafka at All Things Digital is reporting that negotiations are in the late stages and that MySpace is making the deal to acquire some of Imeem's talent and technology. News of the talks was first reported by TechCrunch.

Here's my contribution to the news: two sources with knowledge of Imeem say CEO Dalton Caldwell was in New York recently looking for new investors. Imeem was again running short of cash after coming perilously close to a financial crisis last spring. After Imeem received new funding from some of the music labels, sources told CNET that the money would last only through the end of 2009.

An Imeem representative was unavailable for comment, and a MySpace representative declined to comment.

Nobody has reported the asking price but don't expect it to be very much. One of my sources said that Imeem had been looking for a buyer for a while. Nothing had come of it. But Imeem, which made a name for itself by being among the first to offer ad-supported streaming music and being free to users, is likely to be thrilled by this kind of exit.

A sale is another sign that the ad-supported sector is amid a shakeout.

The truth is the sector is in shambles. Ruckus and SpiralFrog shut down earlier this year. Qtrax, a proposed legal peer-to-peer service hasn't even formally launched yet and has struggled with financial problems.

MySpace purchased iLike in August for a price that was reported to be barely enough for investors to break even.

For a breakdown of the challenges that ad-supported music services face, read "How turf wars and miscues crippled SpiralFrog" and "Plenty of proof that ads don't support Web music."

Update at 9:05 a.m. PST: MySpace representative's statement added.