Last.FM Starts Charging Listeners Outside US, UK and Germany

CBS-owned online social networking music website Last.fm has announced that listeners outside US, UK and Germany will have to pay to use last FM's listening services soon.

It will cost users 36 Euros per year (3 Euros per month) to listen to tracks Last.fm, a figure mitigated by the fact that there is a 30-track free trial. All the other services including scrobbling, recommendations, charts, biographies, events and videos will remain free in all countries.

The move is likely to be motivated by pressures from the entertainment industry as well as decreasing revenues from the advertising sector which bankrolled Last.fm during the good years. Last.fm has not said when the price plan will be introduced.

More than 30 million people use Last.fm every month, more than twice the amount of people using the service a year before. The company also claims to be working with more than 280,000 labels and artists, building what has become the largest catalogue of any web radio platform with more than 7 million tracks.

Earlier this month, Youtube UK announced that it was blocking premium music videos after talks over royalties payout to musicians broke down.

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Our Comments

Last.fm decision to introduce the price scheme means that many will to Spotify instead. Spotify offers a free, ad supported version as well as a premium version which costs £99 per year, three times what Last.fm is charging. A few days ago, ad supported music website Spiralfrog closed down as well following adverse economic conditions.

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