Last.fm debuts free music service

Social music site Last.fm has launched what it describes as the world's biggest free music service. It is promising to pay unsigned artists royalties every time a user streams a track to their computer. The website has done deals with the four major record companies as well as more than 150,000 independent labels to offer access to their catalogues. Users will be able to listen to any track - streamed rather than downloaded - up to three times.

After that period Last.fm members will be encouraged to buy the track via links to iTunes and Amazon and other download services. A share of any resulting sales, coupled with advertising, will fund the service. Last.fm, founded in London in 2002, was bought by the American media giant CBS last year for $280m (£143m).

View: Full Article @ BBC News

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... listen to any track - streamed rather than downloaded - up to three times. After that period Last.fm members will be encouraged to buy the track - and why this is called free service?

Because it's an on-demand service that costs no money.

Besides, Last.fm was a free service even before they offered these music streams.

Creative already has it. "What You Hear" is what it's called. It records whatever your computer is playing for sound to a file. Of course, I have an "old" Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro...

(CrimsonBetrayal said @ #5.1)
Creative already has it. "What You Hear" is what it's called. It records whatever your computer is playing for sound to a file. Of course, I have an "old" Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro...

hey i've got one of them, i'll have to pull out my old disks and have a look

In a BBC interview, Richard Jones (co-founder of Last.fm) said that he is not worried about this because there are easier ways of getting hold of pirated music than recording the audio stream.

Up to three times? Hmm, that's a bit limiting.

Pandora is way better, even if you don't get what track you want. But as hotdog963al said it's blocked in the UK now :(.

I'll be sure to check it out later though.

This + Pandora = teh greatness.

RIAA would be best off hiring the CEOs of these companies instead of spewing vitriol at anyone who dares listen to music w/o paying first, whatever the method may be.

I've been using the site for quite awhile and its introduced me to some artists I may not have listened to otherwise. This sounds like a promising addition.