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Last.fm Radio to require subscription (outside of UK/US/DE)

 
    • IanAR said...
    • Subscriber
    • 26 Mar 2009, 15:17

    Everyone Subscribes For Radio?

    gartenstadt said:
    I would have very much preferred to see last.fm making another decision, namely letting everybody pay the same. I have no problem in paying a few bucks for the great benefit I have from last.fm, and this partially so dumb discussion here motivated me to finally subscribe today. I really hope that more people especially within UK/USA/DE do the same, so at the end last.fm can go back to an equal treatment of everybody. This separation is more than inauspicious, but just becoming filled with hatred and running away wont improve anything.
    Following a month's free-radio trial period (like there was a few years ago), I'd prefer an everyone pays model. However - being an idealist, who remembers the "level playing field" ethos touted around, by founding staff, per-CBS - I'd prefer everyone to pay in proportion to their country's PPP/capita and where audio-uploaders have any easy option to have their royalties/licensing paid into a transferable subscription account (many starting-out musicians are ignoring Last.FM earnings, due to admin hassle).

    I've little idea of how well that'd fly, in terms of a business model, but that'd be my baseline.

    BTW: I'm loving your sig' AndreaUrbanFox - Let the (bl)eat cheese, eh? :P

    - Best, Ian Blip.FM/Scrawl

  • Re: Everyone Subscribes For Radio?

    IanAR said:
    where audio-uploaders have any easy option to have their royalties/licensing paid into a transferable subscription account (many starting-out musicians are ignoring Last.FM earnings, due to admin hassle).


    I also thing a lot of starting-out musicians would like to share their music for free so they an reach out to as many people as possible. Music should be a form of expression, not another 'commercial product' from my point of view.
    I'd sooner say ...if you want to have people pay to be listened to, dont upload it on last fm. Remove the option to claim royalties altogether. The whole original concept was to share independent music over the world to be listened to for free. If you reach out to enough people and a lot of people like your music they will buy your album.

    because we separate it ripples our reflection... in rainbows
  • That is an unrepairable mistake that goes against what I percive as the very core values of the last.fm service.

    Exactly the point I think. It can be called a 'business decision' but it is one decision that will ruin lastfm's business model. They will never be able to return to 'other countries' with service funded by advertisement revenues because they'll only have few subscribed listeners there. As a free service with paid options lastfm has a potential to grow worldwide. As a free service for only 3 countries it doesn't.

    Loosing listeners will be much easier than bringing them back.

    Edited by vudu_rebel on 26 Mar 2009, 15:34
  • I'd prefer not to listen to the radio.

  • Re: Re: Stop whining

    rickmb said:
    It's amazing to me is that because it is a business decision that somehow makes it okay, and certainly not something to be upset about.

    I am not saying that it is okay. I said that I dislike the decision. And I am upset about it.

    rickmb said:
    Dumping toxic waste in third world countries is also a business decision. Or a bit closer to the source: everything the music industry has done to screw us over has also been a business decision.

    I dislike these good-and-bad, black-and-white views, in my opinion it oversimplifies reality. Of course there are several aspects to complain about in the music industry. But I find especially last.fm a good example for the change which is happening.

    It was for sure a bad decision, but stop crying the discrimination song. As an example: I wanted to buy a ticket for a concert in Eindhoven (The Netherlands) a few days ago (and I found this concert via last.fm by the way). After getting through the crappy web page of the online ticket shop, I failed to order it because they didn't liked my German credit card. So I called them, and paid at the end around 10 EUR telephone costs for the lady telling me at the end of our talk that they do not send tickets to Germany. I got quite upset, this is so stupid, we are neighbours and where is the damn reason for not sending me a ticket over the border? This sucks, but come on, I would never call this discrimination. These are business decisions, they do not send me the ticket because they think that it does not pay off, not because I am German or whatsoever. This does not lead anywhere.

    last.fm needs to make money at the end, and they did a step in that direction. It was not a good step in my opinion, but I am sure they are listening when the criticism is less over-the-top.

  • I think artists should be given the option whether they want royalties for their music or are happy to let people listen to them for free.

    All of our artists make their music freely available from our website (Misantrof AntiRecords), so it is sad to hear that on this site people will need to pay a subscribe to be able to hear them.

    Make a good business model - if you subscribe you get the full last fm library. If you don't subscribe you still get to listen to music where the artist (or label if so be it) do not want royalities.

    • IanAR said...
    • Subscriber
    • 26 Mar 2009, 15:36

    Compensating Late Recurring Sub's Availability

    Tecfan said:
    musicgodlything said:
    Babs_05 said:
    I don't know anything about coding. Could it have been done?

    Well, not a coding issue, per se. More of an accounting issue. One-off payments cannot be refunded. (OR can they)
    Wait, they can can't they?

    Monthly one-off payments can't.
    AFAIK you can't
    AFAIK A credit note accounting mechanism could be used.

    However, getting money back to users might be difficult (without knowing the user's bank or PayPal or whatever details), due to - possibly prohibitively high chargeback fees.

    I'd be happy to get some 'transferable subscription credit' (cutting transaction costs) - Ian

    • xslf said...
    • User
    • 26 Mar 2009, 15:38
    Ah, finally an "official" email from last.fm about this change. Notice that lack of any mentioning about the re-occurring subscription option.
    On the other hand, since it isn't available to current subscribers, it isn't surprising, just sad.
    Hi xslf, You're getting this email because you subscribe to Last.fm! We're glad you love the service enough to pay us for it; you have our undying affection. Today, we're announcing a small change to Last.fm's subscription price. It will become €3.00 /month. Your hard earned cash will continue to go towards paying for the music you listen to, as well as the streaming and bandwidth costs of Last.fm Radio. You can read more about why we're making these changes here: http://www.last.fm/about/subscriptionradio Best, The Last.fm Team

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 26 Mar 2009, 15:39
    schlagschnitzel said:
    Sevish said:
    I started a recurring subscription last week, will I be charged at the new rate starting next month?
    Recurring subscriptions will continue at the rate you originally signed up for. So you'll pay the old price until you cancel the subscription and buy a new one.


    Just to clarify, at the current rate my subscription is set to expire in September, 2010. Will that remain the expiration date?

    Also, will I be able to continue streaming last.fm via mobbler on my handset?

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 26 Mar 2009, 15:40
    marcevelyn said:
    Just to clarify, at the current rate my subscription is set to expire in September, 2010. Will that remain the expiration date?
    Yes. No existing subscriptions are affected

    Also, will I be able to continue streaming last.fm via mobbler on my handset?I believe so... although many tracks are now no longer streamable on mobile clients. The iPhone app is almost dead because of this, I haven't used Mobbler but I guess it might be suffering the same fate.

    Edited by a deleted user on 26 Mar 2009, 15:42
  • Re: Re: Re: Stop whining

    gartenstadt said:
    I got quite upset, this is so stupid, we are neighbours and where is the damn reason for not sending me a ticket over the border? This sucks, but come on, I would never call this discrimination. These are business decisions, they do not send me the ticket because they think that it does not pay off, not because I am German or whatsoever.


    I agree with you here. It would have been discrimination if you would have been a German living in Holland and then charging you extra money.

    But the problem is that there are alternatives (an e-ticket option for example would have made you a lot happier in your example)

    The same here... a lot of people feel there might have been other ways that would have seemed fairer and would be benefitial in both ways. Unfortunatly last fm doesn't tell us what alternatives they have adressed not have they asked a massive community if they perhaps could come up with some genious alternatives.

    because we separate it ripples our reflection... in rainbows
  • I bought last month a year subscription, but if I knew this; Last.FM would not even get a penny and its not because of the fact I don't wanna pay. Because in the end last.fm deserved it. (but not anymore!!!)

    The bottom line for me is that Last.fm will make exceptions between country's. If this subscription applied on all country's then I wouldn't mind the 3$.

    Good Game @ killing yourself Last.FM and I hope you will be happy with the US & UK & DE as main customers.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 26 Mar 2009, 15:45

    European law and this decision

    I think this decision is not only unfair, but it's highly possibly breaking the basic principals of the EU law.

    As it can be read in the four basic law of the EU "Article 12 of the EC Treaty prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality and is one of its fundamental provisions." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Freedoms_(European_Union)

    In my oppinion, this way it's fundamentaly against our basic right as a citizen of the EU to be treated in the same way, regardless of our nationality and we can't get other service for the same money, based on which territory we live in.

    If my subscription runs out in one month I'm not willing to renew it, due to the fact that I'm treated openly different. Shame on last.fm, that is for sure...

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 26 Mar 2009, 15:47

    Bait and Switch

    Let's call it what it is - bait and switch. And now I don't have a business degree, but I am pretty certain people don't like it under any circumstances.

    Business decision or not, clearly this thread demonstrates that there is a perceived disparity to users from outside of DE/UK/US and I think in this case it is justified. Discrimination, racism whatever; those are just labels people are giving to their anger. Users are unhappy and some of them are going to do something about it. Myself, I've already stopped scrobbling and I'm considering my future, and my data's future with this website. last.fm's business is their users and when they loose users everybody hurts. When they piss off users, some of them are going to leave.

    So I hate to be the kid that takes his ball and goes home but that's the best way for me to show my displeasure. For now I'll wait and see as I suspect the furor will rise next week as more people become aware of it.

    Ciao, ALL the way from CANADA.

  • Re: Re: Re: Re: Stop whining

    s_nijland said:
    The same here... a lot of people feel there might have been other ways that would have seemed fairer and would be benefitial in both ways. Unfortunatly last fm doesn't tell us what alternatives they have adressed not have they asked a massive community if they perhaps could come up with some genious alternatives.

    Absolutely, and I really think they should reconsider this decision and listen to the community first.

    • ecchan said...
    • User
    • 26 Mar 2009, 15:50
    mm00aa00 said:
    Well, I am sorry, you will charge me but you will take my data for free?


    caban said:
    What really bothers me is that this will skew the data of the site massively in favour to the three countries with free streaming.
    That is an unrepairable mistake that goes against what I percive as the very core values of the last.fm service.


    Two important points here:
    1) if users leave the site en masse and stop scrobbling, what will happen to Last.fm's statistics, user-generated content and services? From Last.fm FAQ: "Millions of songs are scrobbled every day. This data helps Last.fm to organise and recommend music to people; we use it to create personalised radio stations, and a lot more besides."
    2) one reason for a long-time user to be disappointed: (how?) many here have contributed to the site by adding information, pictures, concert info etc. and by scrobbling - and then the service is turned chargeable with a very short notice and with no compensation or even thanks to those early adopters who have supported the site for years.

    If Last.fm's quality drops because there aren't as many users around anymore, and the service shifts towards being tailored for the tastes of the so-called "3G", I'm not sure if I want to keep supporting this.

    • Tecfan said...
    • Event Moderator
    • 26 Mar 2009, 15:54
    estoical said:
    I think artists should be given the option whether they want royalties for their music or are happy to let people listen to them for free.

    All of our artists make their music freely available from our website (Misantrof AntiRecords), so it is sad to hear that on this site people will need to pay a subscribe to be able to hear them.

    Make a good business model - if you subscribe you get the full last fm library. If you don't subscribe you still get to listen to music where the artist (or label if so be it) do not want royalities.



    artists have that option. They can turn off royalties at any time.

    If you're into /, you might enjoy my (free) tracks: Tecfan
  • Re: European law and this decision

    muTe_ said:
    I think this decision is not only unfair, but it's highly possibly breaking the basic principals of the EU law.

    As it can be read in the four basic law of the EU "Article 12 of the EC Treaty prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality and is one of its fundamental provisions." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Freedoms_(European_Union)

    In my oppinion, this way it's fundamentaly against our basic right as a citizen of the EU to be treated in the same way, regardless of our nationality and we can't get other service for the same money, based on which territory we live in.

    If my subscription runs out in one month I'm not willing to renew it, due to the fact that I'm treated openly different. Shame on last.fm, that is for sure...


    I think this is to prevent other countries banning the import of certain products to protect the value of products produced nationally. This would prevent The Netherlands from saying: last fm cannot be accessible in Holland because we want dutch users to use a a similar dutch service. Its not the other way around. I think every company is free to determine where, when and for what price they make there products accessible.

    WIKIPEDIA

    Directly discriminatory rules
    Directly discriminatory rules distinguish between national and imported goods in law and in fact. A prohibition of imports imposed by state A on goods from state B is directly discriminatory but restrictions do not have to take the shape of prohibitions or quotas. A Member State can lead advertising and promoting campaigns that favours domestic products, or it can impose higher prices or more stringent conditions (such as health inspections) on imported goods. The key to discrimination is that domestic products are not subject to the added difficulties, and are therefore put at an advantage.


    because we separate it ripples our reflection... in rainbows
    Edited by s_nijland on 26 Mar 2009, 16:03
    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 26 Mar 2009, 16:06

    Wtf?

    Why are UK/USA/DE excluded from this?
    Am i going to pay for them? i don't think so...
    So...i'm not going to subscribe

    bye Last FM...

  • Re: Wtf?

    Brian1972 said:
    Why are UK/USA/DE excluded from this?
    Am i going to pay for them? i don't think so...
    So...i'm not going to subscribe

    bye Last FM...

    because in those countries last fm can generate enough income through advertisement. You are not paying for them, advertisement agencies are.

    because we separate it ripples our reflection... in rainbows
    • niebuhr said...
    • User
    • 26 Mar 2009, 16:13
    Well, I for one am at least intrigued to see how this is going to play out, if only to better understand the real effects of the presumed web revolutions we've been having and the real financial impact of the long tail.

    It was rather obvious that, at one point, it would become necessary to pay for this service - I'm actually quite amazed it lasted this long before it happened. It also seems likely that the subscription fee will grow over time, whatever the official or unofficial reasons may be. Call me a pessimist, but I'm not one to believe that 'get everything free all the time thanks to the internet' will actually work in the long run, not in the current economic system anyway.

    What I'm most interested to see, however, is to what extent this decision will turn last.fm more into a mainstream or more into a mixed patform. Will it revert to a largely national and anglosaxon institution due to the major influence of free subscriptions there (and their already major impact on the music industry), mostly mainstream (I use the term loosely and value-free), with starting or lesser-known bands no longer bothering to put up their music due to a lack of a potential audience? Or will people pay in hopes of keeping last.fm attractive enough for the smaller labels to put their music on? What genres are likely to suffer most? Are the more 'mainstream' listeners, who perhaps have more options in terms of free music channels, more likely to refuse to pay, or will the 'hardcore music lovers' refuse to submit to the will of 'the music industry' that is being blamed so often in these pages? Will 3 euro's finish off a worldwide social network, will it regionalise or will it build on a firm, centralised user-base?

    Personally I haven't decided what I'll do yet. I've come in touch with a lot of good music over the years, music that would otherwise have cost much more of an effort to come across. Perhaps that's worth paying for, at least until it becomes clear if the service still provides sufficient room for smaller labels, or until the next fee is introduced...

  • because in those countries last fm can generate enough income through advertisement. You are not paying for them, advertisement agencies are.

    I wonder why lastfm abandoned hope to raise income in other countries? Cause as I said above - taking in account the amount of alternative services lastfm does cut off other countries forever with this 'pay or go' measure. They won't be able to recover and grow worldwide again even if they make the service free for all again.

    • H2335 said...
    • User
    • 26 Mar 2009, 16:16

    For Once it's unfortunate that Canada is not US

    And I think this decision sucks, (excuse My French). There are other model out there, to generate revenues (,ask the record Cie to pay to get access to your valuable data of web analytics, paid ad, etc), than putting the burden on users. Plus, why US? You don't want to frustrate the majority of your users, and loose too much business, this isn’t fare to others.
    Anyway!, I will stop listening to you, this is all what it means to me

    • adamzZz said...
    • User
    • 26 Mar 2009, 16:21
    I hope that this new-old subscription thing is to finally get more music on board.

  • Haha, there was so much negative feedback in the blog announcement they had to close it, just like the one about the "new" Last.fm". Get owned.

    Someday the dream will end
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