Last.fm Wins Over the Majors

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Social music network Last.fm, owned by CBS, announced this week that it has cut deals with all four major labels to allow its users to stream millions of full-length tracks on its website, free of charge. The new changes to the site, which went live on Wednesday, represent the first free on demand content online that has the full backing of the majors.

Social music network Last.fm, owned by CBS, announced this week that it has cut deals with all four major labels to allow its users to stream millions of full-length tracks on its website, free of charge. The new changes to the site, which went live on Wednesday, represent the first free on demand content online that has the full backing of the majors.


“Today we’re redesigning the music economy,” said Last.fm co-founder Richard Jones in a press release on Wednesday. In addition to the four majors, the site has also negotiated deals with thousands of independent labels and artists, giving it one of the largest legal music libraries available on the web.

The site expects to draw most of the money for its royalty fees from advertising revenue. Unlike other ad-driven sites, which offered artists and labels one-time payments for access to their material, Last.fm will pay them royalties based on how much the public streams their music. “Music on Last.fm is perpetually monetized,” said Jones. “This is good because artists get paid based on how popular a song is with their fans, instead of a fixed amount.”


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