Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's not 'taking the money and running', it's an exciting opportunity

In a move which will lead to some hard swallowing for anyone who lost a website when NBC bought Xoom, rebranded it and closed it down, CBS has bought Last.FM, the 'if you like this, you might like this, because everyone else who likes this likes that and you don't want to be left out, do you, eh, squareboy?' service.

It's nice for the Last team to get some money out of their idea, and their service, but it still feels a little queasy for a service like this to abandon independence and join in with a major Radio company. It's similar to Television Without Pity now being part of NBC Universal - there's nothing to suggest it's lost its bite, but the mere symbolism is enough.

Anyway, CBS have graphs and things prepared:

The firm's president and CEO Leslie Moonves said: " is one of the fastest growing online communities out there."

He said's strength in building communities around music and syndicating content was "central to CBS".

He added: "Their demographics also play perfectly to CBS's goal to attract younger viewers and listeners across our businesses."

Now, I could be missing a segment from my piechart here, but how will Last FM be "attracting younger viewers and listeners" to CBS products while still only offering impartial, algorithmically mandated suggestions?

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