Meebo introduces "partner" rooms, featuring music industry

Meebo, a web service that lets you use different instant messaging services from a single page, has been busy working to monetize their month-old IM chat room feature (our previous coverage here).

Partners using Meebo’s online chat rooms on their Web sites (using an embedded Meebo widget) can now run their own advertising within Meebo’s rooms, and track performance: Partners’ ads will appear within a player that carries the media files — a so-called “queue” because it is a listing of file URLs. The files are video, audio and photos shared by a room’s users.

The service is intended for general use, although Meebo has announced an impressive list of musicians and labels that have jumped on the bandwagon (see the lengthy list below). But for these partners, there’s one big obstacle to making money from the Meebo service: Many of these artists carry their chats on musician-popular MySpace, and that site doesn’t allow advertising.

Meebo says it lets artists decide where they put their Meebo chat room widgets, and those artists know about the no-advertising policy on MySpace. So it’s unclear how popular the service will become. People pay a fee to Meebo for use of the service.

Partners can provide their own “skins,” or branded designs, for their Meebo rooms. For example, a room for popular artist T-Pain features his likeness as a skin. See below. The red arrow points to where ads will go — there are no ads yet, because the Meebo service has just launched.

t-pain2.jpg

If a partner site already has registered users on it, those users can now log into the rooms using these existing profiles. Partners can also track overall room traffic, including the option to only allow only known users into the rooms. To handle large numbers of simultaneous chatters, a partner’s embedded Meebo rooms will now automatically create sub-room. After all, who wants to read 10,000 incoming IM’s about T-Pain at once?

Participating labels include Capitol Records, Columbia Records, Fearless Records, Flyer Records, Hollywood Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Jive Records, Universal Motown/Universal Republic, VH1, VIBE Magazine, Vice Magazine’s VBS.tv, and Virgin Records are all on board. Also using the service are music-sharing services like Amie Street, iSound, MOG, Radio One, Inc., RockYou and The Hype Machine.

Individual artists also include A Fine Frenzy, Aly and Aj, Alpha Rev, Fabolous, HellYeah, Jason Fox, Kelly Rowland, Korn, Lil Mama, MIMS, Mudvayne, Portugal the Man, Saosin, Straylight Run, and T-Pain. Meebo says that other artists’ rooms will be built in the coming weeks.

Gossip blog network Pop Sugar is also using the service.

Since Meebo launched the rooms service, over 75,000 have been created. We’ve previously questioned how the company is going to make money, but this service is one more way for it to try to do that — although the company is not currently releasing the cost of the service.

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