Last.fm to end their subscription music service on April 28

Last.fm has announced on their forums that they are going to end their subscription radio service, beginning April 28. The company stated that they had to make "some very difficult decisions surrounding [their] core products and services" which led them to shut down their subscription music service.

The music service will stop on all devices. The Last.fm app will play music videos through YouTube, and offer a link to Spotify for on-demand streaming. This will cut income to the company which came from their subscribed users and advertisements. Although there will still be a subscription service, it will only be to remove ads, and get early access to additional features. That being said, the company knows their users will not be happy with this decision, and are offering refunds to current subscribers.

Instead of having a subscription radio service, they are going to focus on what "Last.fm does best: scrobbling", which is a feature that gives users music recommendations based on the music they already listen to.

Many believe the cheap cost ($3.99 per month), and having to pay royalties to copyright holders, has led them to make the decision to end their streaming service.

Back in January, they announced that they were partnering with Spotify for users to have access to a library of more than 20 million songs, and relying on YouTube for music video streaming. These decisions were likely influenced by not having to be responsible for paying royalties, but it will have a drastic impact on the income they made from ads, as well as subscriptions.

Last.fm had reported a loss of around $5M back in 2012, along with a subscription revenue drop of 12%, and ad revenue dropping by 23%. Even though CBS claimed Last.fm to be the "worlds biggest jukebox" in 2008, they couldn't bring in enough income to keep their music streaming service running.

Source: Last.fm via The Guardian | Image via ZDNet

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14 Comments

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Starting up my iPod Touch to delete the app. I never used it, just had it installed because it was the must have apps to have.

Yeah the scrobbling function was the main draw to last.fm. After they removed the personal radio function and introduced the subscription model. The writing was on the wall. I myself stopped using it. The forum was lit up with posts questioning the decision. I recall one post, were a user posted along the lines, it's as if last.fm wants me to pay them to mine my music data, when it should be the other way round.

sycamore said,
it's as if last.fm wants me to pay them to mine my music data, when it should be the other way round.

Not at all. You'd pay to take advantage of "mined data" from tons of user, to play musics that may not be available in your library. Last.fm use algorithms to suggest new stuff , that match your taste . I'm not myself subscribed to last.fm but I find the stats provided very useful (and the tags too) to find good music, and without having to pay the last.fm subscription.

I only have a Spotify sub, I don't even think Last.FM supported my country. There's too many music streaming services out there I think and they all do the same things really.

Yeah, I don't know anyone that uses them. That said, I use Last.fm for my scrobbling needs and I'm thinking about finding a new scrobble service. Any suggestions?

Exactly, I only care about Last.fm for their scrobbling. I hope they always keep this feature as I have a long music history there. Also a Windows Phone / Windows RT app would be cool too.

Enron said,
Nope, I have a Surface Pro 2 and it doesn't wobble.
News flash, the original Surface was a table, what you have is a tablet. ;)

Romero said,
News flash, the original Surface was a table, what you have is a tablet. ;)

I know but with the Surface Pen, I scribble all my notes on my Surface Pro 2 and it doesn't wobble. No need for a table.