The now CBS owned social media service Last.fm announced yesterday that they will stop their free services in all but three countries. From naught to €3.00/month.
Even if Last.fm is not even remotely hi-fi, it is a truly interesting service that lets you share with fellow members, what you play. From this information it will suggest music, radio stations, that others with similar playlists as you enjoy listening to. In other words a more-of-the-same service based on statistics rather than metrics.
Until now Last.fm has been free with a paid subscription offering extended services such as specific artist radio stations. With this new initiative, however, I fear that many freeloaders will abandon the station and thus reduce the statistic number soup and consequently turn Last.fm into more of the same instead of offering us more of the same.
While it is perfectly understandable that such an undertaking costs money and that a user base of 30,000,000 users world wide must mean a hefty royalty check for artists, the decision does cause some raising of eyebrows.