Last.fm, the popular internet music social network, have announced they will be requesting users from outside the US, UK and Germany to begin paying for the service.
Users outside of those three countries will be required to pay a €3/month subscription fee, nothing that will be break the bank, but a price all the same.
The good news however is that the subscription is only for users who want to stream music from the site via their ‘radio’ service. Everything else on Last.fm (scrobbling, recommendations, charts, biographies, events, videos etc.) will remain free for everyone.
The reasons aren’t clear, however international licensing fees appear to be the most obvious motive, already leading other startups such as Pandora abandoning the outside-of-US market. Although pleased, I am definitely intrigued as to how/why the UK and Germany have been excluded from the subscription model, especially considering YouTube’s recent move to block all music videos from YouTube UK.