Universal strikes social networking deal

Universal strikes social networking deal

Imeem site will stream free content in return for giving Universal a slice of its ad revenues

Universal Music Group has signed a deal with social networking site Imeem to allow the web site to stream its content for free in return for a share of advertising revenues.

The deal follows an agreement last week with Nokia to give certain handset customers free access to the recording company's entire back catalogue.

Universal is the fourth major music company to strike a deal with Imeem, following Warner Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and EMI Music in October.

"Imeem has developed an innovative way to make our artists' music a central part of the social networking experience," said Universal chairman Doug Morris .

Imeem - the fourth most popular multimedia entertainment site in the United States - allows users to upload and share music, video, blogs and photos.

Record companies have been looking for new ways to make revenue since online content sharing started to eat into their profits.