Radio Silence: Last.fm Will Stop Streaming Music Next Month
It’s tough to be a company in the streaming music business, and that harsh reality is forcing Last.fm to shut down its online radio service. According to a report from The Verge, the radio feature will no longer be available beginning April 28, and the company will move forward offering services that compliment other streaming music products, such as Spotify.
Last.fm has began offering streaming music over a decade ago, though its service never quite took off the way Pandora’s did. Subscription music services later came into the picture, and Last.fm took a back seat as customers paid between $5 and $10 a month for all-you-can-stream access to millions of songs.
In 2009, Last.fm tried to move to a subscription-based model itself, charging 3 Euros a month for access to its radio product. It seems, though, that the move to both keep Last.fm running and keep the online radio feature alive didn’t pan out.
Last.fm is still well known for its scrobbling service, and it looks like that’ll remain operational. Scrobbling allows users to track the songs they listen to and share track names and artists on their Last.fm profiles. In the forum post that announced the closure of Last.fm’s radio feature, the company stated that users can still use the Scrobbler app for iPhone to build playlists around the tracks on their device.
Amusingly, the experimental Last.fm Player remains online. The feature is an attempt to build a personalized radio experience on top of YouTube, allowing Last.fm to play music without paying royalties. As the company changes direction, it’ll be interesting to see if the Player stays or goes.
There will likely be some news in the near future as Last.fm begins to shift its focus. We’ll stay on top of this story and update if we hear anything more.
In the meantime, tell us how you feel about Last.fm radio shutting down — leave a comment below.
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