Last.fm announced today that its Radio service for mobile devices and home entertainment systems will transition from its current free, ad-based model to requiring users to pay a subscriber's fee with the addition of removing ads.
In a statement, Last.fm's Vice President, Matthew Hawn, said that the ad-based model is what helps support Last.fm Radio in the US, UK, and Germany, but ads on mobile devices and entertainment systems is just not practical for them to deliver a good listening experience. "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," Hawn stated, going on to say that the once-a-month fee will allow you to listen to Last.fm Radio on all of your devices and systems.
Last.fm Radio will still be available for free on their website and for their desktop application; the service will remain free for Xbox users with a LIVE subscription and Windows Phone 7 consumers in the United States and United Kingdon. Hawn stressed that other features from the site, like music and event recommendations, scrobbling, and their artist wikis will also remain free.
The service will begin rolling out on February 15th and cost $3 USD a month with a free trial period.