Monday, 7 February 2011
by Matthew Hawn
On February 15, the radio service built into Last.fm mobile apps and on home entertainment devices will become an ad-free, subscriber-only feature.
Last.fm Radio will remain free on the Last.fm website in the US, UK and Germany and for the US and UK users of Xbox Live and Windows Mobile 7 phones. We’ll also continue to offer radio for free via the Last.fm desktop app.
I want to explain why we’re making some of these changes.
On the Last.fm website an ad-supported, free-to-listeners model is what supports our online radio services in the US, UK and Germany. In other markets and on emerging mobile and home entertainment devices, it is not practical for us to deliver an ad supported radio experience, but instead, we will migrate to what we believe is the highest quality, lowest cost ad-free music service in the world.
We believe our radio -whether it’s a personalised station or artist and tag radio – is the best in the world and we’re proud of the depth and range of our catalogue of music from major labels, indies and unsigned artists. We’re committed to building Last.fm into a bigger service that gives listeners the best music discovery experience anywhere while financially supporting and promoting the artists who make the music we love.
You’ll see that this change brings us in line with other music services that already charge you to listen to music on mobile devices. For the cost of a fancy coffee, a Last.fm monthly subscription allows you to listen to radio across all platforms, on all your devices, and without commercial interruptions.
This change only affects the radio component of Last.fm’s services on mobile and home entertainment devices. Other features of our service — like scrobbling, music and event recommendations, social networking and community forums, and Last.fm’s wiki-based artist information pages — remain free to users worldwide.
You can read more about the devices that will require a subscription here, you can visit our subscriptions page to learn more, and join the conversation on our forums.