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Site release 12/12/12: Radio changes to Last.fm from 15 Jan 2013

 
    • ben-xo said...
    • Staff
    • 12 Dec 2012, 16:52

    Site release 12/12/12: Radio changes to Last.fm from 15 Jan 2013

    Hello everyone,

    Today’s release is the last of the year, but brings some significant changes to our service.

    Unfortunately, for many users, it’s going to be bad news. There’s really no way to dress it up, and this release prepares us for some changes that are happening in just over 1 month’s time.

    From January 15th 2013,

    • In many countries, we are ceasing radio streaming after January 15th 2013, even to subscribers.
    • In all remaining countries where the desktop client currently provides free streaming radio, this is becoming a subscription-only feature.

    Countries where radio remains available for free:
    • United Kingdom
    • United States
    • Germany

    Countries where radio remains available for subscribers:
    • Canada
    • Ireland
    • Australia
    • New Zealand
    • Brazil

    In all other countries, streaming will cease to be available after January 15th 2013.

    The reasons for the decision on streaming are not straightforward, and we have spent a long time looking at all of the options. As much as we'd love to, it is not economically possible to offer an equal service worldwide under the current realities of the internet streaming market.

    We are always looking at ways to bring music to more people, when it can be done, and we hope to be able to open streaming to a wider audience again in the future.

    For our loyal subscribers, we truly thank you for listening. Some of you, with subscriptions bought in advance for longer than 1 month, will want a refund. You can find the full announcement, including information on how to cancel your subscription and how to claim a refund here:

    Announcement in English
    Announcement in German
    Announcement in Spanish
    Announcement in French
    Announcement in Italian
    Announcement in Japanese
    Announcement in Polish
    Announcement in Portuguese
    Announcement in Russian
    Announcement in Swedish
    Announcement in Turkish
    Announcement in Chinese


    Other News: Scrobbler for iOS and Ten Years of Scrobbling

    Scrobbler for iOS

    Last.fm has always been about scrobbling and recommendation. We are extremely excited to announce our new Scrobbler for iOS, available free worldwide, which brings the power to create playlists from the songs on your iPod, iPad or iPhone based on recommendations, tags or similarity; song features such as tempo and energy; and more, as well as native scrobbling.

    It’ll be in the App Store tomorrow, and you can find out more here: http://www.last.fm/hardware/ios

    Ten Years of Scrobbling

    Last.fm has reached the grand old age of ten. For our birthday, we decided to bring you the highlights of the last ten years. This will also be available tomorrow here:

    http://www.last.fm/bestof/10years/

    Check out my latest Drum'n'Bass mixes at http://www.mixcloud.com/benxo (it scrobbles)
    Edited by hjbardenhagen on 16 Dec 2012, 09:59
  • Ok, thought this would happen eventually, and it's really not that big of a deal to me since I'm in the UK, but please tell me there's gonna be some good stuff coming soon. I mean, pretty much every major announcement from you guys in the last few years has been bad news. The only 'good' news (and I use that term very loosely) that you seem to announce now is some new app, or a new way to analyze your listening stats, whilst many of the more often requested features and improvements get ignored. I'll never leave Last.fm, but it's gotten to the point where I don't know anyone in the real world who actually uses the service - they've all left over the last 5 years or so, and I don't bother recommending the site to anyone either.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 18:27
    Licensing restrictions yet again. Record labels are so keen to protect their monopolies of the past that they don't give a damn about the impact of their decisions on the music fan. Prohibitive licensing is driving some good services out of business while making others not worth subscribing to which means that eventually the death knell will ring for them too. They fail to realise that if people do not have access to legal means of streaming music, they will turn to illegal means and then the labels will bitch and moan about piracy.

    I fear that we are witnessing the beginning of the end for Last FM.

  • very sad news, i'm at last.fm since 20008, been away for couple weeks back in 2011 and came back, i not gonna be subcriber anny longer and pay for a service i not get, i'm from Belgium, i think it's a big dissepointment for alot people from alot country's this sad news, pitty...

    • Kymyny said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 18:35
    Very sad news...

    • vesam said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 18:42
    Sad news about the radio indeed, I've been listening for years and have found a lot of new artists and then bought hundreds of new CDs, too. I hope radio feature will come back to Finland soon, I need it.

  • same here versam, thanks too last.fm i found out alot about new bands, thanks too listen too those radios, even buying albums of those artists,

    • Love-0 said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 19:04
    Same here, I have bought several CDs from artists I have discovered or rediscovered by listening to last.fm radio.

    • corneld said...
    • Subscriber
    • 12 Dec 2012, 19:31
    <<due to licensing restrictions>> -- this is the usual scapegoat for pretty much every restriction you posed to the users so far....
    Could you, PLEASE, list the exact restrictions you have from licensors in order to cut us out like this ?
    And, maybe, WHICH are those licensors that made you do this ? :D
    I suppose some "good" thoughts from us would make them feel alright.....

    My usage of last.fm radio is too low (probably not more than 10-15% of my entire scrobbling time, over the period I was subscriber), so this decision will not affect me too much, but .... I feel like I just had another slap in the face from you, and I just don't understand WHY !!

    We all know that light travels faster than sound. That's why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak [Albert Einstein]
  • Can increase of fee help?

    If the issue is economical, isn't it possible to increase fee for subscribers in "other countries"? As for me the current price is very low, and I can pay much more if it's necessary.

    Thank you guys for all new music you bring to my life. Hope to see last.fm radio in Ukraine soon.

  • So, people from the vast majority of the world's countries now have even less of an incentive to subscribe (I have thought about it in the past, have been waiting for some method of payment more convenient than paypal and got this instead), which means fewer subscribers, which means a loss of income for Last.fm, and that might even lead to some other core features of the site being taken away... It really does seem like a downward spiral :/

    not quite there...

  • 2 corneld,

    It looks like big losses for last.fm too as far as there're a lot of subscribers worldwide who want to pay to last.fm, but can't. On the other hand regular users (not subscribers) rarely use last.fm's web site, and therefore it's not so good idea for last.fm to cancel subscription and make money only from advertisement. Finally after 15th of January a lot of users stop using last.fm at all, that looks like kind of damage for last.fm again. Therefore I'm sure that they just hadn't other choise.

    • mice-sk said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 20:03
    Last.fm team,

    I'm from one of the discontinued countries. I understood the move to a subscription-only model for some countries that happened several years ago. I was a subscriber before that change and I have remained one ever since. Now you are discontinuing streaming support for my country.

    I understand that this was not an easy thing for you to do, but it's worse for some of us since you were one of the very few (decent) streaming personalized services that worked in my country (Slovakia in Central Europe, if you must know).

    Because of that I will not be satisfied with a mere "we're sorry" - you owe us a bit more information. I'm sure you researched all your options, so could you please explain:

    • Is there really no option to keep a subscription-only version of the service running for these countries? I'm sure many of us would be willing to pay an increased price, since you're the only decent option available to us...
    • Who forced you into this? Law changes? Higher licensing fees?


    The reason for the latter question is that there really needs to be a public backlash aimed at the people who are responsible for this (law writers, music rights holders, etc). Not only that they completely ignore the borderless nature of the web for years by preventing services from expanding to more countries, they now even take existing services away from us. This is wrong. Completely wrong.

    Thank you,
    M.

  • I'm from Poland. I canceled my subscription today, when I leaned about this change. Without radio, there is no point in spending 3 bucks on this site, monthly. However, I considered subscription based streaming a GREAT value. I would gladly pay 10 bucks for it. To bad, that you don't want my money. XD

  • RhYnoECfnW said:
    Ok, thought this would happen eventually, and it's really not that big of a deal to me since I'm in the UK, but please tell me there's gonna be some good stuff coming soon. I mean, pretty much every major announcement from you guys in the last few years has been bad news. The only 'good' news (and I use that term very loosely) that you seem to announce now is some new app, or a new way to analyze your listening stats, whilst many of the more often requested features and improvements get ignored. I'll never leave Last.fm, but it's gotten to the point where I don't know anyone in the real world who actually uses the service - they've all left over the last 5 years or so, and I don't bother recommending the site to anyone either.


    Pretty much the same from me. I still try and tune new people in and have literally told hundreds of co-workers, friends and family about Lastfm, but strangely, no one ever heard of Lastfm, before I mention them. Yes; out of 100s, not a single soul yet.

    MegaBlastFM said:
    I'm from Poland. I canceled my subscription today, when I leaned about this change. Without radio, there is no point in spending 3 bucks on this site, monthly. However, I considered subscription based streaming a GREAT value. I would gladly pay 10 bucks for it. To bad, that you don't want my money. XD


    More like 6 USD would be excellent and I totally agree - Lastfm needs to raise the sub fees and cease the taking things away from us!

    pushmi-pullyu said:
    So, people from the vast majority of the world's countries now have even less of an incentive to subscribe (I have thought about it in the past, have been waiting for some method of payment more convenient than paypal and got this instead), which means fewer subscribers, which means a loss of income for Last.fm, and that might even lead to some other core features of the site being taken away... It really does seem like a downward spiral :/


    EXACTLY! There are bunches of folks, that have been waiting for optional ways to subscribe, that would have made keeping these countries viable.

    I have done a lot of research into Lastfm over the years and I suspect, as I have always said, they're barely hanging on to a streaming service, or the entire website. CBS is squashing them, choking them ever so slowly, into oblivion.

    • alin1 said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 20:25
    More and more restrictions... not good at all.

    I don't use the radio, so it's not that important for me. But I hope that the next step will not be to pay to use the scrobbler... That would be clearly the end of last.fm.

    • Hodja said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 20:38
    MegaBlastFM said:
    I'm from Poland. I canceled my subscription today, when I leaned about this change. Without radio, there is no point in spending 3 bucks on this site, monthly. However, I considered subscription based streaming a GREAT value. I would gladly pay 10 bucks for it. To bad, that you don't want my money. XD


    Same here. I have been a subscriber for almost 5 years now.

    Damn, I hate this news.

    • corneld said...
    • Subscriber
    • 12 Dec 2012, 20:48
    Neahh... I don't think this move will "kill" too much of the subscribers list from our "rest" of the world. In fact I'm pretty sure that the subscribers in the "special" countries (UK, US, DE etc) are about 60-70% in the total subscribers list (despite the freedom to listen to radio free 'till now) .... so that they will not lose too much money from canceled subscriptions and/or would-be subscribers that change their minds due to this ...

    I just wonder, now, how much time will take these X!@*&^!*&#^!# of licensors to kill completely last.fm , or turn it into a scrobble only service (that just collects our listening habits)....
    Yeah ...


    Oh, BTW ... if, by chance, our country/countries gets united to the "special" ones :D ... would this restrictions still apply ? :P

    We all know that light travels faster than sound. That's why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak [Albert Einstein]
    • mice-sk said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 20:51
    On a related note: Last.fm had a music manager for artists since I can remember.

    If big labels directly or indirectly forced Last.fm to stop the subscription-only streaming services in the majority of countries (note: this was not confirmed), why is Last.fm just not limiting access to tracks by said labels? Why does this have to impact smaller labels or independent artists?

    • mice-sk said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 20:57
    MegaBlastFM said:
    However, I considered subscription based streaming a GREAT value. I would gladly pay 10 bucks for it.
    Same here, mate!

    CrybKeeper said:
    I have done a lot of research into Lastfm over the years and I suspect, as I have always said, they're barely hanging on to a streaming service, or the entire website. CBS is squashing them, choking them ever so slowly, into oblivion.
    Since we did not see any major development on this site for a few years, I'm strongly inclined to agree.

    • alin1 said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 20:58
    corneld said:
    Neahh... I don't think this move will "kill" too much of the subscribers list from our "rest" of the world. In fact I'm pretty sure that the subscribers in the "special" countries (UK, US, DE etc) are about 60-70% in the total subscribers list (despite the freedom to listen to radio free 'till now) .... so that they will not lose too much money from canceled subscriptions and/or would-be subscribers that change their minds due to this ...

    I just wonder, now, how much time will take these X!@*&^!*&#^!# of licensors to kill completely last.fm , or turn it into a scrobble only service (that just collects our listening habits)....
    Yeah ...



    Oh, BTW ... if, by chance, our country/countries gets united to the "special" ones :D ... would this restrictions still apply ? :P

    It seems just a question of time until last.fm will turn it into a scrobble only service. Because these X!@*&^!*&#^!# of licensors want more and more money and ask for more restrictions.

    What I hate the most about internet is this blocking of undesired countries from various services. The internet was supposed to be a place without borders to access services and information. This whole concept was perverted by greedy major corporations.

    Edited by alin1 on 12 Dec 2012, 23:36
    • Sekir said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 20:59
    mice-sk said:
    On a related note: Last.fm had a music manager for artists since I can remember.

    If big labels directly or indirectly forced Last.fm to stop the subscription-only streaming services in the majority of countries (note: this was not confirmed), why is Last.fm just not limiting access to tracks by said labels? Why does this have to impact smaller labels or independent artists?


    Because some laws are made by idiots. It's just a life. This is not a problem of laws. CBS just does not want to sue.

    Админы ластфм - казлы.
    • 0izys said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 21:00
    I guess Last.fm staff cannot say from a legal point of view but I would be interested just as a merely technical and hypothetical question: would it be possible for someone in the not supported countries to listen to the radio through a proxy service like http://www.tunnelbear.com?

    This is also a rethorical question btw, we will find our ways to the Last.fm radio just like we can have a Spotify account in any country... I mean I heard that someone said it is technically feasable - but I would never do stuff like that myself. Naturally.

    • Niara78 said...
    • User
    • 12 Dec 2012, 21:02

    Very unhappy subscriber from Belgium

    I have a one year subscription. Been here since 2009. This sucks big time. It ruins my entire week. I listen to this radio every damn day :/

    What now? Spotify? Any other alternatives?

    Certified Optimist
  • bye bye

    goddamnit...

    The radio function was such a nice thing to use at work, but that is all over now it seems.

    3 bucks is not much really, but if im stuck with scrobbling only then it is time to unsubscribe.

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