Monday, February 07, 2011

Not the end, but perhaps the first of the Last.FM

For the time being, in the UK, Last FM on the web remains free, but the service has announced it is going to start charging for mobile.

Now, I like Last.FM, but charging for a service where you can't control what track you're going to hear, or even what band is coming next?

Last FM's Matthew Hawn even claims they don't really need the money:

"We think that the best experience is ad-free," said Mr Hawn,'s head of product.

"It's not that we're losing buckets of money on our service... but we're trying to make rational decisions about our business model."
If Last FM really believes the best experience is ad-free, then wouldn't the "rational decision" be to launch a paid-for ad-free version alongside the free, ad-supported edition?

Last FM is pretty good for a freebie; but surely if you just want songs you might well like coming at you in a random order, you've got the radio?