Wired.com has an article about Last.fm making the site a pay site outside of the US, U.K. and Germany. According to the article, last.fm is saying they do not gain enough advertising revenue from these countries to justify the cost of the service. From now on, users outside of those 3 countries will have to pay $3/month to use the service, not a large amount of money, but $3 more than it was before. It also pretty much means that minors will have no way to use the service, unless they are able to use a parent’s credit card. Last.fm has always had this $3/month service, but before it was a “premium” account that removes advertising and offers more playlist flexibility.
I think this is ridiculous. I am a last.fm user, not all the time, but probably 3-4 hours a week of the service. I will no longer be using that service. Can I afford $3/month? Absolutely. Will I pay it? Absolutely not. I feel like the people that use last.fm outside of those 3 “core” countries will be forced to finance last.fm’s continued operations in those countries, where people listen for free.
I have also introduced a few people under the age of 18 to last.fm, and at least a couple of them use it as their primary music source at home now. I now have to go tell them they can’t keep using their favorite service, unless they can manage to convince their parents to allow the use of their credit card. This will likely just drive minors back to piracy, when they before had a legal means of listening to music. And I think we can all agree that driving people back to piracy, when they were previously more than willing to listen to ads to get their media in a legal manner.
It may not seem like it, but Last.fm has just taken a step back in combating piracy, and that is a bad thing
[Read] – Wired aticle