Social music site imeem have been placed as the number one US music-streaming service in the US, ahead of Yahoo and AOL. The rankings aren’t from either of the main measurement companies (Comscore and Nielsen) so will doubtlessly be contradicted / challenged by other rankings. Also the difference between imeem and Yahoo is less than 10 percent so, depending on the strength of the methodology, within margin of error.
But quibbles aside, if we take these numbers at a directional level it is clear that in a short period of time imeem has come out of nowhere and is competing on equal terms with the big boys. Social networks like MySpace and Facebook stole audience time and share away from traditional portals, communities and personal pages by offering something completely new. In the same way social music sites like imeem, Last.FM and Pandora are all causing upheaval to traditional online music destinations by providing audiences with a new, immersive experience. Streaming music sites have to date survived by offering an online approximation of radio (and music TV). But social music sites have changed the rules of engagement. If the incumbents like Yahoo want to remain competitive for young audiences, they’ll need to start learning the new language of social music.