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Imeem purchases streaming music site Anywhere.fm

The social media site, which has been one of ad-supported streaming music's few success stories, snaps up a Web radio start-up to help tweak its own technology.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy

Social media site Imeem announced Monday that it has purchased Anywhere.fm, a small San Francisco start-up that has created an online music player and Web radio technology. No financial terms were disclosed.

This acquisition is clearly about the technology. Anywhere.fm, founded less than a year ago and funded by Y Combinator, has created software that allows users to upload their MP3 collections to the Web and then stream them through their browsers. This could help out Imeem in the user experience department; the service has been criticized for being somewhat difficult to use. A release from Imeem hinted that the technology will also be applied to its fledgling video-streaming features.

On the flip side, since Imeem has licensing deals with all four major record labels, the acquisition can help Anywhere.fm avert potential copyright issues.

Anywhere.fm's "smart playlist" technology, as well as a recommendation engine and features to match up users with similar music tastes, will also provide Imeem with new features that can help it compete with the likes of Last.fm. Purchased by CBS Interactive last year, Last.fm is arguably the most powerful name in social music sites; earlier this month, it launched an ad-supported streaming music initiative that pushed it further into Imeem's territory.