Hey, remember when everyone was making a big deal about Universal licensing its catalog to the streaming-music service imeem in exchange for some shares in the company and a cut of ad revenue? Well, I was unsure about whether or not it was a) a good thing for the upstart company or b) something that people would really care about as they all run to zShare for their music-on-demand needs, but MP3.com founder Michael Robertson thinks it’s yet another deal where Universal bullied some kids out of their pocket change. To wit:
“imeem entered into a crushing financial agreement that allows them to survive as long as venture capital money continues to flow into the company, but spells almost certain financial calamity once outside funding halts.” Why? Well, not only did imeem have to pay $20 million upfront to UMG, and the ad-revenue sharing deal is structured as such: “Imeem’s contract with UMG calls for payments of just under one cent per song play, regardless of whether there’s any advertising that actually happens.” Hope that the imeem staff can at least afford Ringboxxxes while the cash is flowing in!