I have had a Last.fm account for a long time, but unfortunately have used it only very sparingly due to the fact that the service is not available for free where I am based. For those in the US and the UK, though, Last.fm is probably the best thing to have ever happened to music lovers. And, with the popularity of mobile devices, Last.fm’s mobile application has also caught the attention of those who just can’t get enough of their music.
Just like many other free web services, Last.fm has been able to get along without charging users a fee due to advertising. However, starting next week, things are going to change big time – at least for the mobile users. Instead of seeing ads and not paying anything, mobile users will have to pay 3GBP a month and enjoy ad-free service. The paid service will then allow users to listen to personalized radio stations but will still not offer the option of picking out individual songs.
While it is understandable that some people will react negatively to the move, the price is not that bad. It is already close to what Last.fm charges for its web service in other locations. More so, using Last.fm via the computer will remain free in the UK.
Last.fm’s official stance is that they believe that this is the right move for the company. They also say that they are NOT losing money, but that this is just the logical thing to do. Of course, the move will only bring in more revenue for the company, but I think the fee is reasonable, don’t you?