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Topic: Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany (Read 7134 times) previous topic - next topic
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Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

I just bumped into this:

http://blog.last.fm/2009/03/24/lastfm-radio-announcement

Quote
Today we're announcing an upcoming change to the way Last.fm Radio works in some parts of the world. In the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, nothing will change.

       In all other countries, listening to Last.fm Radio will soon require a subscription  of €3.00 per month. There will be a 30 track free trial, and we hope  this will convince people to subscribe and keep listening to the radio.  Everything else on Last.fm (scrobbling, recommendations, charts,  biographies, events, videos etc.) will remain free in all countries,  like it is now.


What can I say? I am really disappointed and this is in no way understandable (for me).

Probably those regions will serve as a trial and will be extended to the core regions itself if proven successful.

Cheers,

Chris

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #1
No way understandable?

This was totally predictable, it was just a question of when. Royalties don't pay them selves you know.
Its a feat they lasted as long as they did.

Extended if proven successful?

You mean unsuccessful. If their current method fails to rake in enough income to pay royalties then they may consider extending it totally. Though that would be a tough decision considering UK, US and DE hold the most Last.FM members.
They're not doing it because they can. They're doing it because they have to.

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #2
Makes having a proxy server in the US look more attractive by the minute.

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #3
Wouldn't it be cheaper to just pay them than play with proxy?

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #4
No way understandable?

This was totally predictable, it was just a question of when. Royalties don't pay them selves you know.
Its a feat they lasted as long as they did.

Extended if proven successful?

You mean unsuccessful. If their current method fails to rake in enough income to pay royalties then they may consider extending it totally. Though that would be a tough decision considering UK, US and DE hold the most Last.FM members.
They're not doing it because they can. They're doing it because they have to.


And they will fail in my opinion with this kind of business model. It's the same old thing people are not willing to pay, because most of them never did for radio. Look at XM Radio they're bankrupt now because their business model failed with their data.

For me so far my calculation was: I give my private data to last.fm and they give me something back in the form of the recommendations. So for me it's clear no extra value = no data of mine, I will cancel my account.

Speaking business wise I think they are just bundling their resources for the countries with the highest ARPU. They don't have any benifit were people can't buy from Amazon like here in Romania - people are just leeching the resources

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #5
This was supposed to happen as of 30th March. That's today but I just checked and I so far I can still listen to lastfm without a subscription. It might just be taking them a while to make the changes, I wonder how much longer that will last.


Whoops I was forgetting about time zone differences. It's Monday 30th 3.00pm here in Australia but only about 5am in London. Looks like I've have to test it again tomorrow.

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #6
Wouldn't it be cheaper to just pay them than play with proxy?
Not for me; I pay for a web server in the States. Adding proxy functionality should be pretty easy. There are also free proxies available too, though they tend to have poor throughput.

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #7
For me so far my calculation was: I give my private data to last.fm and they give me something back in the form of the recommendations. So for me it's clear no extra value = no data of mine, I will cancel my account.


From the blog "listening to Last.fm Radio will soon require a subscription of €3.00 per month", how is that going to stop recommendations? I may be wrong but I don't see how recommendations requires listening to the radio.

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #8
today is the day, well let's see that
imo last.fm radio is/was nice feature (although i joined it recently just because of that feature), and i completly agree with op
don't know what is the reason but it sucks and it's offending
if it's about money, they would collect more if the action was opposite: UK, USA, DE members must pay: but that's the same stupid story as it is now - used to it free but now you must pay
the service isn't essential for me to use proxy idea
if this thing happens i'll freeze my account/data and suggest other users to do so
i'm foobar user and have many extensions according my listening habits and statistics
about recommendations and similar artist there are other webservices also which i could use if i need the feature

[edit] well, on second thought they are choosing their target group and i don't think will stop free last.fm radio for UK, USA, DE ever

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #9
It's about royalties, to be sure, but I think it is the record companies who are being stupid. I don't use Last FM simply because I like the Pandora interface better, but the record companies should be paying the bills. Lemme see...I create a station based around "So What?" and Pandora recommends hundreds of selections from other artists and other labels, specifically aimed at my love of small combo acoustic jazz with a firm melodic structure, and provides links for purchase?

This is both data mining and advertising for the music industry. And yet the music industry insists that companies like Last FM and Pandora stop or pay them for the privilege of doing their marketing work for them? Brutally dumb. And not a bit surprising. The major labels should be sitting with the directors of Pandora and Last FM helping to strategize ways to maximize the potential of the medium, not killing it off. Instead, they are dinosaurs planning their own extinctions.

Tim

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #10
It's about royalties, to be sure, but I think it is the record companies who are being stupid. I don't use Last FM simply because I like the Pandora interface better, but the record companies should be paying the bills. Lemme see...I create a station based around "So What?" and Pandora recommends hundreds of selections from other artists and other labels, specifically aimed at my love of small combo acoustic jazz with a firm melodic structure, and provides links for purchase?

This is both data mining and advertising for the music industry. And yet the music industry insists that companies like Last FM and Pandora stop or pay them for the privilege of doing their marketing work for them? Brutally dumb. And not a bit surprising. The major labels should be sitting with the directors of Pandora and Last FM helping to strategize ways to maximize the potential of the medium, not killing it off. Instead, they are dinosaurs planning their own extinctions.

Tim


Yeah I was thinking the same thing Tim. The combination of a "radio" that knows what type of music you like with an inbuilt "buy" button that's just perfect for impulse buying!. Man I would have thought that would have been the music industries ultimate wet dream.

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #11
[edit] repeating myself

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #12
Yeah I was thinking the same thing Tim. The combination of a "radio" that knows what type of music you like with an inbuilt "buy" button that's just perfect for impulse buying!. Man I would have thought that would have been the music industries ultimate wet dream.


There are certain "facts of life" outside the USA, UK, and DE.  My guess is that people in a lot of countries (such as India and China) can stream the music from Last.FM, but due to currency conversions cannot realistically purchase songs there.  Impulse buying doesn't work for them.  I've never purchased a song from either site, but I assume one song is 99 cents.  That's roughly 50 Indian rupees.  You can buy an entire legal CD in India for a little more than that.  Above that, India has a fairly extensive market of MP3 CDs.  The CDs are illegal, but they are very cheap and readily available.  All of this basically means that few people are going to buy music off those sites.

Of course, many current Last.FM users in India are not going to pay 3 euros/month for Last.FM.  Either way Last.FM loses.

As for the argument of how charging didn't work for Satellite radio and thus it won't work for online radio, there's are a few differences.  Serius and XM both did what regular radio did.  It played 1 good song for every 10 I didn't like.  Am I supposed to pay for that?  On the few channels I did listen to (like BPM) they seemed to just regurgitate the same playlist for years on end.  Again, am I supposed to pay for that?  Let's not forget I needed to purchase multiple devices (and subscriptions) if I wanted to use it in my car, my spouse's car, with my home entertainment system, and on my computer.

If I used Last.FM and Pandora extensively, I'd gladly pay $3/month for the service.  What's $3?  Many people in the US spend that much on coffee every day.

I've donated more than that to public radio!

And yes, the recording industry is greedy.  If they had it their way, a CD made in America would not play in Europe.  Thank you movie industry for that blessing!

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #13
Yeah I was thinking the same thing Tim. The combination of a "radio" that knows what type of music you like with an inbuilt "buy" button that's just perfect for impulse buying!. Man I would have thought that would have been the music industries ultimate wet dream.


There are certain "facts of life" outside the USA, UK, and DE.  My guess is that people in a lot of countries (such as India and China) can stream the music from Last.FM, but due to currency conversions cannot realistically purchase songs there.  Impulse buying doesn't work for them.  I've never purchased a song from either site, but I assume one song is 99 cents.  That's roughly 50 Indian rupees.  You can buy an entire legal CD in India for a little more than that.  Above that, India has a fairly extensive market of MP3 CDs.  The CDs are illegal, but they are very cheap and readily available.  All of this basically means that few people are going to buy music off those sites.

Of course, many current Last.FM users in India are not going to pay 3 euros/month for Last.FM.  Either way Last.FM loses.

As for the argument of how charging didn't work for Satellite radio and thus it won't work for online radio, there's are a few differences.  Serius and XM both did what regular radio did.  It played 1 good song for every 10 I didn't like.  Am I supposed to pay for that?  On the few channels I did listen to (like BPM) they seemed to just regurgitate the same playlist for years on end.  Again, am I supposed to pay for that?  Let's not forget I needed to purchase multiple devices (and subscriptions) if I wanted to use it in my car, my spouse's car, with my home entertainment system, and on my computer.

If I used Last.FM and Pandora extensively, I'd gladly pay $3/month for the service.  What's $3?  Many people in the US spend that much on coffee every day.

I've donated more than that to public radio!

And yes, the recording industry is greedy.  If they had it their way, a CD made in America would not play in Europe.  Thank you movie industry for that blessing!


Perhaps, but marketing is about finding opportunities and solving problems, not seeing the difficulties and walking away from "closed" doors. And 30 years in marketing tells me that where music lovers are showing up, gladly offering up their preferences, and connecting to an interactive media that allows companies to see those preferences and act upon them, there are huge opportunities. That the majors see nothing but an opportunity to collect royalties speaks volumes about their lack of innovation and imagination.

Tim

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #14
Quote
What can I say? I am really disappointed and this is in no way understandable (for me).

Probably those regions will serve as a trial and will be extended to the core regions itself if proven successful.

Cheers,

Chris



This is the same explanation that Spotify gives for their dominance in the European market if I am not mistaken. Some countries have free invites everyone else has to pay for premium accounts. Let's not forget as I mentioned in another thread both the U.S and Canadian markets aren't even involved with the service. I am not really surprised to be honest with you.
budding I.T professional

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #15
I have to say I haven't dropped by HA in years, but while I was here I thought I'd give an explanation for this.

For once this isn't really the labels' fault (although some would argue that the rates they charge us are unreasonable, and that's the cause of this mess). We pay a fee for each track we play on the radio, and free users pay for that through adverts. The reality is that this is only a workable situation for us within the US, UK, and Germany, because these are the countries we have significant ad sales presence in.

If we wanted to start free radio in other countries (assuming the country has a big enough ad market to support it at all), we'd need to establish a local presence there, which costs money. The cheapest solution (yes, sadly it's business) is to make these markets subscriber-only. The borders are drawn by ad markets, not streaming territories.

People argue that we should have made radio subscriber-only for everyone, and that being country-specific isn't fair. But the simple fact is that we can make it work for half our users, not the other half. Why deprive them all?

Last.fm to charge for Last.fm Radio outside the US, UK and Germany

Reply #16
Thanks for this information Russ.