updated 05:00 pm EDT, Tue March 24, 2009
Last.fm radio intros fees
Last.fm on Tuesday announced some parts of the world will see changes as to how the service works, as the service will no longer be offered free of charge. Subscribers in the US, UK and Germany are not affected by this change, however. Users in all other countries will now need to pay a 3 (about $4) monthly fee, but all features of the service, including scrobbling, recommendations, charts, biographies, events, videos and others will remain in place. To hook subscribers, Last.fm will offer a 30-track free trial in the affected countries.
Last.fm began offering music tracks on the web since 2002, and claims it has 30 million subscribers, a number that has doubled since 2008. Last.fm says it works with 280,000 labels and artists and compensates many of them directly in order to offer one of the best music libraries out there, counting more than 7 million tracks
Last.fm has not announced when it will begin charging for its service, however.
The move follows a similar scaling back by other Internet radio services like Pandora, which have cited existing or looming changes to US song licensing rules that would make it cost-prohibitive to stream most music to residents outside the country.