In the relentless quest to widen the palates of music fans, IAC/InterActiveCorp's (NASDAQ:IACI) Ticketmaster is buying a 25% stake in

Similar in many ways to's Music Genome project, which digs up artist suggestions based on songs and artists you already like, iLike is a fast-growing music discovery site. Just as (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) try to push new suggestions your way based on prior music buying habits, deeper technological sites like iLike and Pandora dig into the meat of the material to deliver even better ideas from acts that you may have never heard about before.

The company's roots stretch back to the online indie music revolution -- spearheaded by sites like, Garageband, and IUMA -- that used the Internet as an industry leveler, making sure any band's demo was just a click away.

Unfortunately, it didn't prove to be a very bankable approach. bled through greenbacks and litigation until it was acquired by a major label and had its domain name ultimately sold to CNET (NASDAQ:CNET). IUMA closed its doors to new artists five years ago. Garageband? It's still kicking and is actually the same company that launched iLike earlier this year.

Why the new site? Like way too many havens for unsigned artists, Garageband has simply attracted other hungry artists. There's nothing wrong with that, but as a site that allows musicians to review their peers, it's missing the special sauce to get its music before a wider audience of music fans that don't know the difference between a diminished chord and diminished expectations. That's where iLike -- packaged as a site for the masses -- comes in.

It's the right approach, so it's easy to see why Ticketmaster wants in. The company has no problem selling tickets to the dinosaurs of pop and rock when they go on reunion arena tours, but there is a real opportunity to promote the lesser-known artists playing in smaller venues. If iLike can introduce you to your next favorite band, and Ticketmaster can sell you tickets to their upcoming show, everybody wins (including your ears and your musical horizons).

A seemingly minor acquisition with deeper implications for the music industry? I like.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz once had his band signed to Sony's Columbia Records label. It didn't exactly pan out. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. T he Fool has a disclosure policy.