Imeem began life in 2004 by offering instant messaging and file-sharing software but evolved into a social networking site consisting of more t han 19 million users.

The Universal / Imeem deal is the latest online agreement for Universal, whose chairman Doug Morris has been looking at different, that is, non-traditional ways to create revenue streams based upon the label’s catalog.

The label recently closed a deal with Nokia to supply music for the latter’s “Comes With Music” promotion involving Nokia devices pre-loaded with songs.

“Universal Music Group is committed to exploring new ways for consumers to discover and enjoy our artists’ music online,” Morris said. “Imeem has developed an innovative way to make our artists’ music a central part of the social networking experience.

“More importantly, they’ve done so the right way – by working with UMG to provide an exciting musical experience for consumers, while ensuring that our artists are fairly compensated for the use of their works.”