Online radio website Last.fm has announced that from next week it will abandon its free streaming service to mobile phones and begin charging users for content. The station has decided that its current model, which provides personalized radio content for free to mobile users and generates money by placing ads between songs, is no longer rational. Instead from February 15, users will have to pay for an ad-free service.
The best experience is ad-free
Last.fm’s head of product Matthew Hawn said the move was about "making rational decisions about our business model". "It's not that we're losing buckets of money on our service, we think that the best experience is ad-free", Hawn told the BBC.
The move puts Last.fm in direct competition with Spotify, which charges £10 a month for ad-free, personalized music services both on the web and on mobile phones.
The Application will still be free
However, the application will still be free to access from Windows 7 hand sets, because Microsoft has agreed to subsidize the costs. Listening to Last.fm over the web will also remain free.
In a blog post, Hawn explained the move, saying “ You’ll see that this change brings us in line with other music services that already charge you to listen to music on mobile devices. For the cost of a fancy coffee, a Last.fm monthly subscription allows you to listen to radio across all platforms, on all your devices, and without commercial interruptions.”