IMEEM: How not to treat user community

In our daily checks of news around the world, as we saw wide mention Michael Jackson’s death on the 26th July, 2009 (R.I.P.). other news was brewing in the music world
At the same time in the music business news struck the vey large music users community  right in the face when they were told of the IMEEM decision that they planned to remove all the photos and videos from its members space.
IMEEM who describes itself as the “world’s largest social music service boasts the site has more than 25 million visitors per month with over 65,000 new users every day. It announced  it would do this on 30th July 2009. just 5 days after giving their announcement on their official IMEEM’s blog.
It seems that IMEEM attempts to streamline may be far too late. A good indication is the Warner decision to write off its entire strategic investment in IMEEM of $16 million. In addition  it has discarded a further $4 million in receivables that the start-up owes Warner and that it doesn’t expect to see again. A further death bell warning saw Warner Music also decline  to enter a new funding round with IMEEM and re-negotiate streaming rights.
On ReadWriteWeb, Matt Graves (VP Marketing of IMEEM) commented that VIP members will be able to get their refund, but the field feedback is that also doesn’t seem to be so clear cut.

Gordon Wood mentioned in his article

The potential and use of this medium for organized market reach is even now quite gargantuan. And this will evolve more as  mass social media connections become more and more organized.

It seems IMEEM is not going to make it and will be a casualty we will learn from as in demise it is doing the opposite of what is needed by removing the social media connections and eliminating the Photos and VIDEOs part (of which Matt stated was only 1% of IMEEM’s content.

IMEEMs major income of course comes from advertising, and relied on the free stuff to generate traffic. It  seems shortsighted now to remove content that bring people to IMEEM especially where such content in their case is widely and socially shared among users.

The community feedback on their decision doesn’t seem good either which will further exasperate their plight. A lot have now threatened to delete their contents and remove their accounts  having “lost trust and faith” in IMEEM altogether.

One example is Michael Stamper who as a very large user is known to have stored around 1500 music files, 200 videos, and 100 photos which serve as content and foundation sources of IMEEM revenue. Without these type of users, IMEEM itself doesn’t have “physical” asset to help generate its revenue and will surely fail

This may be another text book case of predicable history of large corporate mistake that lead to a posthumous reviews and more loss of confidence of both investors and users alike. Whether IMEEM will make it  now remains to be seen with such decisions that impact so squarely on their user community.

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