Social MTV: Blip.fm Adds YouTube Videos

blip.fm-videoSocial music site Blip.fm added YouTube videos to its music feed today, allowing users to turn its “Twitter for music” service into a social video playlisting site. The free service, which allows users to listen to songs and share them in playlists that resemble Twitter’s interface, now includes a window for watching videos as the songs play. It’s a sort of on-demand, social MTV — at least one that’s reminiscent of the era when MTV actually played music videos.

The move also beefs up Blip.fm’s audio content offering for U.S. users, although recent changes to its content library have left some international users with fewer songs from which to choose. Blip.fm recently began sourcing songs via Imeem but eliminated content from MP3 search engine Skreemr, which scraped the web for songs wherever they were lying around. While that’s generally a boon to U.S. users, many international listeners have reported that their full songs have been replaced by frustrating 30-second clips.

CEO Jeff Yasuda discussed the first round of changes, but not the YouTube additions, in this blog post last Thursday. The post doesn’t say why Blip.fm effected the changes, but it does mention lawyers. The streaming of songs lying around on the web falls into a legal gray area, but Imeem and YouTube content is fully licensed.

While providing a visual component to go alongside Blip.fm’s audio stream, the YouTube deal also provides some insurance against the potential eventual loss of Imeem content, although Imeem appears to be staying afloat with a new round of funding. YouTube, meanwhile, still suffers from its loss of Warner Music Group songs last year, but features music from the other three major labels as well as countless indies.

Originally a service from Fuzz.com, a now-defunct social network for musicians, Blip.fm reorganized last fall with new funding from insider investors. Stats from Compete.com show steady growth in recent months, pegging its April 2009 U.S. audience at about 500,000 users, while Quantcast data suggests that more than half of its 1.2 million global users are in the U.S. Blip.fm takes in modest revenue from referrals to online music stores and ticket agencies, as well as advertising.

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