Social music-focused networking service, Last.fm, saw site traffic climb 62 per cent and activity climb 208 per cent across the past year.
According to the latest comScore Media Metrix report (July 2008, U.S. Data), Last.fm has experienced a 20% increase in unique visitors and a 36% increase in total minutes in the United States.
Additionally, Last.fm saw a dramatic 208% year-over-year increase in total minutes spent on the site and a 62% increase in unique visitors, corresponding to a 90% increase in visitor engagement. Continue reading →
New music-related start-up, Twones is a new in-development service which monitors Last.FM, YouTube, MySpace, iTunes, Muxtape and others.
What it does: Twones is a one-stop management and access application that will store, organize, find and share your music, whether its songs you like and hear on web-based services or music you have stored within your iTunes collection. Continue reading →
Last.fm last week introduced a redesigned website, equipped with a host of new features designed to make the service even better for music fans – and today the company began to stress the new opportunities for advertisers within the new portal.
The company revealed that leading brands, including Converse and Motorola, have chosen to sign-up for Last.fm’s new ads opportunity, saying this means next-generation marketing campaigns featuring “smart ads” designed to establish a one-to-one connection with the user.
Last.fm co-founder, Martin Stiksel, said: “We’ve built an ever-growing community of opinion-forming music fans, actively engaged with and returning again and again daily to their Last.fm pages. We offer advertisers the ability to reach this crucial audience and hold their attention because we know what they’re into, and we know the kinds of features they respond best to. We’ve already had great success targeting campaigns for global brands like the BBC, Orange, and Apple, and the new site opens up even more compelling opportunities.” Continue reading →
Last.fm has today introduced its all-new look online, boosting the appearance with a bunch of new features to implement the social music site’s pervasive, device agnostic vision. The site redesign focuses on keeping things clean and easy to navigate.
New features include:
– A new Library tool, into which users can place ongs or artists in order to build their music profile.
– Instant Recommendations: no need to listen to music to build recommendations. Search for artists and click “Add to Library” for instant music and event recommendations.
– Real-Time Chart Updates: listen to a song, and the charts on your profile immediately reflect sthe play. Your recommendations update in real–time.
The company also touted its multiple recent moves to boost its reach beyond the PC such as last week’s introduction of an iPhone application, which lets users stream tracks to their phone; its recent partnership with Logitech to give music fans access to the Last.fm music listening experience through their home stereos; and its ongoing relationship with owner, CBS.
Last.fm offers over five million tracks for free online streaming playback.
We looked at Shazam’s music recognition and tagging application for the iPhone last week, but a few moments is all it takes to track down a host of other interesting socially-connected music applications available through the App Store. These include apps from Last.fm and new (to us) app that works a little like Shazam, Midomi.
The free Last.fm application offers users access to their personalised station, along with a way the to create stations based on any artist or tag. Users can also stream music made available for streaming through the service, and gain built-in song purchase links from iTunes.
Midomi is another free application and will also recognise a song from either listening to it on a speaker system, or through a users singing or humming part of a song. It also responds to you saying the song or artist name you seek, or through a typed query, once a song;s identified, the app sends you to YouTube or iTunes for more.
Internet radio gets a good look in, courtesy of £2.99 app, Tuner, which enables access to thousands of these using a WiFi connection.
There’s new breeds in event-focused social apps, including Eventful (which, thankfully, also works in the UK). This free app lets you choose your favourite acts and will let you know if they are set to perform in your local area. It also lets you track what your friends are doing.
Recall earlier in the week when we reported Nas’ short statement on the leak of his album? Well, no sooner is the music floating round on the ‘Torrents, than Nas has hit back with an access deal with Last.fm.
So what’s happening?
Essesntially, Last.fm today announced that Nas’ new Def Jam album is available exclusively to stream and listen to on Last.fm, in its entirety, for free.
The untitled album is Nas’s ninth, and each of its 15 tracks is available in full for free-on-demand streaming in advance of the official release on July 14.
The album features guest spots from Busta Rhymes, The Game, Chris Brown and more, and production from the likes of Mark Ronson and Stargate.
Martin Stiksel, Last.fm co-founder, said: “It’s a huge honour to be premiering the new album from one of the most seminal and defining hip hop artists of all time. Following on from Sigur Ros and Portishead, we’re thrilled to be able to offer another great exclusive to our community from one of the most popular artists on the site.”
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that Last.fm has also recently offered free on-demand streams of albums from Radiohead, Sigur Ros and Portishead, and plans more in future.
No more talking, time for some music – here’s the link.
Indie music labels have slammed the artist royalty scheme announced by Last.fm yesterday, with the global rights body for independent music (Merlin) issuing an all-points bulletin in which it suggested Last.fm has been guilty of using music illegally in the past.
“The Program announced today does not appear to offer any compensation for any past illegal use of repertoire. It is unclear to us whether or not the terms and conditions of the Program are intended to prevent master owners pursuing such compensation. Last.fm yesterday announced a scheme in which unsigned acts could join its Artist Royalty Scheme, under which they get paid each time a track of theirs is streamed and played. The scheme has been ongoing, and was already available to major and indie labels and their acts. While Last.fm’s move is to be welcomed, indie label body Merlin has also been attempting to negotiate a non exclusive blanket licence and a settlement agreement for previous instances in which Last.fm has offered music for streaming without permission. However, those negotiations stalled, “in part because Last.fm has not been willing to admit to or to compensate for any prior illegal use of music,” Merlin said.
Merlin represents over 12,000 indie labels who between them hold a US music marketshare of 8 per cent. Independent sector global market share 2006 is 27.5%, )source Music & Copyright, Jul 2007).
Last.fm has introduced what seems to be a fairly useful royalty scheme for unsigned acts. What this means is that independent artists can collect royalties from Last.fm each and every time their track is listened to through the site, which is a nice way to make a little income and the first time artists who are independent of a label or royalty collection agency can get paid for their music being streamed online
Unsigned and independent artists can sign up for the program when they upload their music to Last.fm, and earn revenue when their tracks are played free-on-demand, or on Last.fm’s streaming radio, or both.
The deal follows Last.fm’s introduction of the Artist Royalty Program, which offered independent acts revenue for use of their music and since the launch of which over 450,000 tracks have been uploaded to Last.fm and offered for free-on-demand streaming.
Martin Stiksel, Last.fm co-founder, said: “This is a big day for independent artists. We’re leveling the playing field by offering them the same opportunities as established bands to make money from their music. The young musician making music in a bedroom studio has the same chance as the latest major label signing to use Last.fm to build an audience and get rewarded. The Artist Royalty Program is another revolutionary step towards helping musicians take control of their music — and, more importantly, make a living from it.”
Artists can upload their music and sign up for the Artist Royalty Program at: https://last.fm/uploadmusic.
Radiohead are offering their hugely successful In Rainbows album for free, ad-supported on-demand streaming playback through Last.fm.
The album was made available on Last.fm to listen to in its entirety, for free at 3pm London Time today. It’s the first time the band have granted a global license of this kind, with licensing arranged through the ‘one stop’ digital licensing platform that Radiohead and their publisher Warner/Chappell Music created at the end of last year. The service enables rights users around the world to secure from one destination all the necessary digital licenses across both the recording and publishing rights in In Rainbows. All licenses are subject to band approval. In Rainbows, Radiohead’s seventh album, was first made available as a download, which fans could purchase at a price they decided, in October 2007. Last.fm, which is able to track the listening habits of its 21 million-strong community of music fans, revealed that the album was listened to over 22,000 times in the first 12 hours it was available, or once every 2 seconds.
Martin Stiksel, Last.fm co-founder, said: “Radiohead understand that the Internet is changing music distribution, and we’re extremely proud that they’ve teamed up with us to offer In Rainbows for free-on-demand streaming. We believe that music fans should be able to access music for free, and just as importantly, that artists and rights holders should be paid when their music is listened to. Last.fm makes this possible, and we’re thrilled to be working with Radiohead to once again break new ground in digital music.”
Bryce Edge, Radiohead’s co-Manager, said: “We felt this was a fantastic means of offering a new way for people to discover In Rainbows. It’s perfect timing for the band’s current world tour.”
Jane Dyball, Senior Vice President, European Legal and Business Affairs, Warner/Chappell Music said, “The experimental ‘one stop shop’ for all In Rainbows digital rights has proved a great success. It has offered the band a whole spectrum of innovative ways to digitally distribute and promote their album, whilst providing all their licensees with a nimble service on terms set in consultation with the group and their management.”