Personalized music service Last.fm has announced that it will introduce a subscription system for its mobile apps from February 15, dropping its free service on both the iPhone and Android.
Last.fm’s mobile apps will now be ad-free and subscriber-only, but its website radio feature will remain free on the Last.fm website in the US, UK and Germany, for Xbox Live users in the US and UK and on Windows Phone 7 phones. For the time being, radio will also remain free for users of the Last.fm desktop application.
The Last.fm team had found that the ad-supported, free-to-listen model has worked in the US, UK and Germany but has had to adapt its offering to increase revenue lost by streaming the same service to other regions, migrating to a high-quality, low-cost ad-free platform that pulls from a huge catalogue of music from labels, independent and unsigned artists.
We believe the move will put the company on a par with streaming service Spotify, but with its personalisation features and social platform Last.fm could give the company a definite edge over its European rival.
The monthly subscription will costs £3, giving them access to the service on mobile and entertainment devices without any interruption in music playback. Scroblling, music and event recommendations, social networking, forums and wiki will remain free to all.