Thursday, 23 April 2009 radio subscription debacle

Image representing Last.fmImage via CrunchBase

This week did something that their fans were hoping they wouldn't do - they started charging people for streaming, outside of Germany, the US and the UK. Their reasoning is that they can make an ad-funded model work in these countries, but nowhere else.

Fans and users - and from the blog comments, it seems these numbers are dropping like a stone - outside of these three countries are forced to pay either £3.00, €3.00 or $3.00 per month to stream more than the "shareware" 30 tracks they're granted. Funnily enough, it looks like you can choose the currency - enabling people to opt for the weakest currency.

What's steamed everyone's beans, by the posts on the blog, isn't so much that they're charging, but the way they went about it. It was announced in a sort of "oh by the way, from this moment on we're charging". They alluded to the charges a while back, but many people hoped it was a passing fad.

With options - at least in the UK where we have Spotify - I've been using more and more for just their scrobbling feature, which enables me to track what I listen to, as opposed to using their streaming facility.

For some reason my top track is STILL "(Reach Up For The) Sunrise" by Duran Duran, and I've really been compelled over the last few years to top that.

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