The Last Stand

These days the dotcom boom means you write up an application, get an audience and sell it for at least 9 digits. Such is the case with Last.fm, the online radio stream and music recommendation service.

I had in previous posts suspected an eventual buyout by one of the mega corporations. Well, its official. CBS has bought Last.fm for $280 million. Many users seemed concerned with this development since new ownership might mean losing what made it so good in the first place.

Here are some sources that reported the story:

Music site Last.fm bought by CBS (BBC)
CBS Buys Last.FM, an Online Radio Site (New York Times)

This, of course, is an attempt from CBS to gain some marketshare in the exploding multimedia market. This is a time when horizontal media integration becomes crucial for the Majors. While compared to the likes of Myspace, the numbers in Last.fm seem much smaller, albeit more loyal: 15 million regular users vs. Myspace's 180 million accounts (including fake porn sites and repeat accounts.)

As a DJ this is a valuable tool for finding music, like a personal guide at a music store. I hope this move will give them more leverage to then get more music for the radio stream while limiting the 'alterations' to the music recommendation system (conflict of interest: why recommend something you don't own?). Check out my last.fm page to find out what I'm listening to.

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