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It’s no secret that streaming music services must pay a licensing premium to offer their libraries on smartphones and other devices, but now it seems that Last.fm’s ad revenue wasn’t enough to pay those bills. Effective February 15, Last.fm will charge $3 per month for access on iPhones, Android phones and home entertainment devices such as Sonos and Logitech’s Squeezebox.
Personalised radio service Last.fm is trying to stuff the proverbial genie back into the bottle, by charging for mobile access that was previously free.
On February 15, the radio service built into Last.fm mobile apps and on home entertainment devices will become an ad-free, subscriber-only feature.
Last.fm , champion of free music streaming services, has pulled an about-face, and is largely moving to a paid subscriber model for its mobile service on smartphones and tablets. Starting next Tuesday, February 15th, Last.fm's "radio service" in its mobile apps, and some home entertainment devices will "become an ad-free, subscriber-only feature" according to an official blog posting .
Starting February 15, Last.fm's mobile app will be paid-only. Their web radio service will remain free in the US, UK, and Germany.
7 February 2011 Last updated at 18:28 GMT The music site was seen as a major British success story
After speculation earlier in the week, Last.fm has just announced that they will be offering “the biggest legal collection of music available to play online for free.”