Last.fm Jump Shark, Start Charging for Mobile Use

February 7, 2011, By Christian Cawley

One of the great things about the internet is the ability to listen to streamed music from services such as Last.fm, Spotify and Pandora.

Last.fm announce mobile app subscription model

Recently it transpired that Spotify wasn’t doing too well and is looking at revising its business model; meanwhile, Pandora has been out of bounds for non-US users for some time now thanks to legal issues. However until today, Last.fm remained one last bastion of free music, streamed to a PC, Mac or Linux computer and pretty much any mobile platform you can think of. No downloads, no keeping tunes, just music based on other tracks you’ve listened to, and a great way to find new music.

Sadly, however, it looks like the end is nigh; millions of Last.fm users received an email today informing them that as of February 15th, their mobile apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 (not to mention other devices, including iOS and Droid tablets) are going subscription only.

Is this the day the music died?

While the desktop browser version will remain free – and punctuated with adverts – the fun of new music streamed to your mobile is about to be left for dead as Last.fm attempts to raise millions by charging £3 a month – that’s an annual charge of £36 in the UK for streamed music with no option to keep any tracks.

Long-term users of the service are being offered 3 free months before the subscription period begins – but already hundreds of users are rebelling, with the Last.fm blog announcement page almost chock-a-block with cancellation notices and exclamations of dismay.

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