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Imeem dodges bullet with new round of funding

Social network for music fans avoids a possible shutdown by receiving new investment. Sources say financing efforts continue.

Imeem, a social-networking site geared for music fans, has obtained new funding that in all likelihood saved the company from closing, according to music industry sources.

The money received so far by Imeem, which streams ad-supported music to users' PCs, is unlikely to last the company through the end of the year but the start-up's financing efforts continue, said the sources.

In March, TechCrunch reported that Imeem was in financial trouble after managers failed to sell the company or raise more money. At that time, the company denied that a shutdown was imminent. The company went back to some of its investors, which included some of the major music labels and asked for help, which it received. But last month Imeem went back to investors and told them even with the added assistance, Imeem needed new funding to survive, according to two industry sources.

An Imeem spokesman declined to comment.

Imeem made it clear that if it didn't raise money soon, the situation was "dire," one source said.

This first quarter of 2009 has been particularly bitter for ad-supported music sites. SpiralFrog, a site that offered ad-supported downloads closed its doors in March. In January, Ruckus, the music site tailored for college students, shuttered operations.

Some of Imeem's remaining competitors are facing their own struggles, including MySpace Music, the joint venture from News Corp. and the major labels. Music industry sources say the big recording companies are dissatisfied with the ability of the 8-month-old service to generate revenue. Read more about that here.