Yahoo! is releasing new instant messaging (IM) software, "IMVironments," that allows users to play music, video, and flash media clips inside the IM window, Billboard Bulletin reports. Traditionally,

Yahoo! is releasing new instant messaging (IM) software, "IMVironments," that allows users to play music, video, and flash media clips inside the IM window, Billboard Bulletin reports. Traditionally, users have to launch a new window or link to another site to access such content.

As part of the launch, to be announced today (Oct. 22), Interscope act Garbage will use the technology to promote its new single, "Androgyny." IM users will be able to correspond within a Garbage-themed environment that includes the track and a flash photo montage of the band. Also featured in the window will be a link to Yahoo's Launch.com site to view the video for the single and a link to Yahoo! Music to purchase the group's latest album, "beautifulgarbage."

The company has enhanced IM promotions in the works for Enrique Iglesias and Lenny Kravitz.

Instant messages and E-mails enhanced with rich media content are becoming an increasingly popular method of direct-marketing among companies with online music assets. Several companies, including MP3.com and specialist beatgreets.com, also offer music-themed online greeting cards that feature flash images of an act and song clips.

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