Confirming a long-held expectation, Imeem acquired the struggling Snocap digital rights and content management firm.
Snocap is the Shawn Fanning-founded “digital registry” that proposed to transform the digital music space by allowing major labels to register their music with a database that would then ID and control the traffic of music across any services utilizing the system.
Imeem itself is a customer of the service, using Snocap to identify tracks uploaded to the Imeem service by users to ensure content owners have allowed the full streaming of their music, as well as manage the ad-share revenue payments back to the appropriate label and artist each time a registered song is played via Imeem. Other customers include MySpace, which uses Snocap’s MyStores widget to let independent and unsigned artists sell individual tracks to fans via MySpace profiles.
Snocap has been struggling over the past year and was actively seeking a buyer. Although the registry contains more than 7 million tracks from all major labels, few services use the database and those that do are relatively minor in comparison to the market-leading iTunes music store. The once-hyped Mashboxx P2P service was supposed to be Snocap’s coming out party three years ago, but that service never launch, and likely never will.
The MyStores widget, meanwhile, never caught fire with the robust MySpace artist community. Many artists complained Snocap charged excessive per-track fees, which led to high-priced downloads to fans and leaving little left for the artist.
Imeem adopted the system late last year as a critical component of its licensing deals with the major labels, and emerges as Snocap’s most promising customer. Comments from Imeem CEO Dalton Caldwell in the press release announcing the deal suggest the company will continue to license the Snocap service to competing music services.
Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Snocap COO Ali Aydar will join Imeem as VP of operations, and is expected to bring his team of engineers with him. Imeem and Snocap are both venture-backed companies and share an investor in Morgenthaler Ventures.