Feb 07 AT 8:54 PM Anthony Domanico 41 Comments

Last.fm to kill mobile streaming for non-subscriber accounts on February 15th

Listen to last.fm on your Android phone but don’t want to fork over $3/month for a premium, ad-free subscription? I’ve got some bad news for you. In true Valentine’s Day spirit, Last.fm is breaking up with you. No, seriously.

If you don’t have a last.fm subscription by the morning of February 15th, you will no longer be able to enjoy mobile streaming via last.fm on your Android phone.

According to their blog post, Last.fm is attempting to justify this move by suggesting that it “brings them in line with other music services that already charge you to listen to music on mobile devices.” Though this is technically true, as applications such as Rhapsody and Spotify require a premium account to access content from your mobile device, it paves the way for still-free (though ad-supported) services such as Pandora and Slacker Radio to steal away potential customers.

I must admit that I’ve never personally used last.fm, as I’ve always been more than satisfied with other competing services. So I’m going to turn it over to you, our readers. What do y’all think about this move by last.fm? Will you be ponying up the $3/month for a premium subscription? Switching to another like-service? Is this the direction you see more online internet radio companies going in the future, or will the free ad-supported model win out in the end? Sound off in the comments below.

Via: TechnoBuffalo

Source: Last.fm

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://Website Mark

    I got an email from them around mid day. I chuckled to myself for a few seconds and promptly uninstalled. Not before I installed Pandora and MusicJunk of course…

  • http://Website Peska

    Drat. I like Pandora better, but I listen to LastFM when I hit Pandora’s 40 hour limit. Guess I have to pick one to subscribe to. Probably Pandora, they have a better world music and global fusion selection.

  • http://Website Techrocket9

    I have Pandora One, so this doesn’t affect me. But if I didn’t have it and Pandora was going nonfree and Last.FM was still free, I would switch.

  • http://Website Nate

    I know it isn’t a direct competitor, but I use audiogalaxy. It’s great I can listen to all of my music with no ads and no limits at all.

    • Subhuman

      Does Audiogalaxy work to avoid the subscription fee? How good is the quality. Thanks much!

  • http://Website Laurence

    In short? Not a chance…….. Whilst I use last.fm from time to time I don’t use it enough to ever warrant a fee.

    I assume that if you don’t use a mobile client you will be unaffected, so I would like to know what the difference to last.fm is? In other words is this just some “bright” sales tactic to grab some cash off you?

    • http://Website Corey

      Record labels demand higher fees for music streamed to mobile phones, so Last.fm probably has realized it isn’t worth the additional costs to gain mobile users. I know, it’s ridiculous. You can’t make this shit up.

  • http://www.BradGoetsch.com Brad Goetsch

    Booo, c’mon Last.fm get with it!. Really, I don’t understand why they can’t just make the free accounts ad supported and pay accounts ad free.

  • http://Website Matt

    This is incorrect.

    You get a 3 month subscription starting that day for free.
    So more like May 14th.

  • http://Website Daniel

    I will stick with http://www.di.fm I became a member about a year and a half ago and I ended up becoming a premium one 3 months ago,I am extremely happy with them,with and without premium membership.
    I also have access to http://www.sky.fm with the same membership.
    Their free service is pretty good too and their spps are nice.

  • http://Website james

    I use spotify now anyway. Last just wasnt any good and spotify is well worth a Tenner a month.

  • http://Website zeke

    I’ve used last.fm to stream music and scrobble played .mp3s for five years. Recently I’ve had latency issues streaming last.fm. I’m just switching to Pandora.

  • http://Website cris h

    F you last.fm… We don’t need you!

  • http://Website kd0912

    The fact that you can scrobble from your computer, mp3 player, web, & phone is 1 of the best things about last.FM. there are things they should fix before they start charging fees.

  • http://Website Zandra

    Sky.fm for standard stations and DI.fm for my trance fix. Both apps are in beta off their sites, free, and awesome.

  • http://Website marlene

    I’m a longtime subscriber to Last.FM since they play a good variety of music that I listen to on a daily basis.I’m also subbed to Slacker Radio and Pandora since I like their streaming radio stations.I’ll pay a monthly fee for these if they charge since I don’t really listen to local radio (too much talking and not enough music to suit my taste.

  • http://Website 2FR35H

    I am extremely disappointed that they turned greedy now. I’m not paying $3 a month for it. They do have great hip hop streaming though of which is why I had preferred them over pandora but now they are just forcing me to use pandora or maybe even pirate the app if possible.

    • http://Website Corey

      Do you not realize that THEY PAY ROYALTIES ON THE MUSIC THEY STREAM? Asking for a petty $3 a month to pay for royalties, software development, hosting, etc isn’t *GREEDY*. Your ass whining about anybody asking for any of your hard earned (read: asked your mom for) cash is *SPOILED ROTTEN* though.

      And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why new services aren’t offering shit for free. Whiny end users that are all in competition to be cheap.

      • http://Website 2FR35H

        Royalties my ass. That’s how it starts. Next, it will be $5 a month. After that, they will have “gold” and “silver” member with silver having access to only “some” features. >_>

        • http://Website Morten

          Yeah, you think they should pull the money out of their asses instead right? What a joke..
          I _gladly_ pay 15 bucks a month for Spotify (though that gives me access to stream any of the 10+ million songs at any time and anywhere) and wish more people would too. Streaming is the future. CDs and mp3s should die already.

  • http://Website Corey

    I love how everybody is throwing a tantrum and making news over $3/month for nearly unlimited streaming of music.

    • http://Website toothpaste

      $3/month for what exactly? to listen to music? First and foremost, stop yelling at people it isn’t helping convince anyone neither is you degrading people. Judging from your post, it seems that you don’t value money even if it is a measly $3. Are you going to the bank of mommy as well?

      Most people seem to be upset not at the amount of money they are asked to spend, people are upset that we are being asked to spend money on a service that plainly sucks. I spend money on products/services like everyone else but if I get sub par service or low quality products, believe this, I am raising hell with the person/people/company until I get my money back or I am given what I paid for. What I pay for is quality. Last.fm streaming is garbage. Tested on several android phones to the point of not using streaming any more, the hassle out weighs the rewards.

      The only good thing about last.fm is scrobbling, and even that has many short comings with updating taking longer periods of time that it should.

      Poor planning, poor management, lackluster sales department and an infrastructure that clearly can NOT support its userbase. The answer to a problem like this is NOT throwing more money at them, but reorganizing the company within. Leave the user alone, they are the ones that built your site from nothing to present day. Without the community, last.fm, is on the road to demise.

      Have a pleasant day :)

  • http://Website Casper


  • http://Website Adam

    I think last.fm just signed relegated themselves to obscurity. I understand the concept of paying higher royalty fees to stream music, but the fee-free ad-supported business model is working perfectly well for many other online services, the most notable being Pandora. Look at the responses here–a good majority of us have no problem listening to occasional ads to avoid a subscription fee. Both parties are kept happy this way. Why would we cough up money for last.fm, when we can get the same type of service for free elsewhere.
    And I listen to A LOT of Pandora and Slacker, and I’ve NEVER hit any sort of limit.
    Just my $0.02.

  • http://Website Dre

    $3 a month isn’t bad, but I only use it every now and then, so I’m going with pandora after the free time is done

  • samirsshah

    Last.fm is going in reverse direction. If they are not getting good and enough ads to support free streaming, they are doing something very wrong (not good enough music? non-aggressive sales department?).

  • http://Website Dan

    If they start doing what Spotify or Rhapsody do I’ll Gladys give them $10-15, otherwise I’ll just keep scrobbling via Grooveshark without giving them a cent.

    Just not a great engine to hear new music.

  • http://Website Tristan

    I’ll pay. I love listening to last so why not? They’ve given me a 3 month trial to make my mind up too.

    I’m paying in $ mind when it comes to using their drop down, as it’s $3, £3 or €3 per month, which are wildly different (£3 is almost $6 on the current exchange rate)

  • countstex

    I only use the Last.FM app to scrobble the music I play on my phone, if that still works I’ll keep the app. If it doesn’t.. bye bye.

  • http://Website Ragflan

    People in the US are so lucky to have Pandora. I’d gladly pay to have Pandora in Australia but they don’t do anything to bring it here. They’re still in the 4 or 5 year old statement, ‘Sorry, we’re trying really hard to bring Pandora to our users outside of USA.’ Trying really hard? Really?

    Man. I wish was there. So many US-only services. NETFLIX is another.

    • http://Website Matt

      Why do people not seem to realize this isn’t always due to inaction but legal wrangling by the money music, movie conglomerates and their lawyers? Spotify would have came to the US quite some time ago for example if at the end of one of the rounds of negotiations, the music industry didn’t change its mind. Its the same with netflix; They have to get negotiate for access to the media they serve or ship, and sometimes the industry asks for too much, or flat out says no to certain types of services (like internet streaming) of their content, or they attach conditions to the agreement like thirty day new release windows.

  • http://Website Ragflan

    I want to give my money to a good service but no good services are coming here. Please tell me a good Pandora alternative for Australian users. Grooveshark is good but it’s annoying when it skips over a lot of tracks (since it’s user-submitted). As a Grooveshark VIP, I feel that the service isn’t as polished as Pandora.

    What’s a Netflix or Hulu alternative? Why Why Why! Why do you complain about piracy when you don’t make good services readily available for people that are willing to give their money to you?

  • http://Website Matt

    The problem for me is that last.fm’s mobile app barely scrobbles right, nevermind streams (even on wi-fi). It regularly complains about ‘insufficient content’ after playing maybe two or three songs despite them stating that’s one of the problems they’ve ‘fixed’.

    So, them removing the option for free users doesn’t phase me; Its never worked properly to begin with.

    Mind you, Pandora isn’t much better. Their recent update to stop it from skipping/cutting off tracks seems to have made it worse (for me, anyway). It has improved stability, though.

  • http://Website BrandonG777

    LMFAO. Last.fm was a failed experiment they just haven’t realized it yet.

  • http://Website Iria

    Just like Grooveshark Anywhere :( *sob*

  • http://Website Kaue Lima

    Well… i’m already paying for last.fm since here in Brazil theres no free streaming, even on the web… btw the app for android does not stream even with my subscription… damn recording labels… (yeah i used a hacked version of the app to stream to my android =D). I love last.fm service… and well i think it’s well worth the 3 dollars a month…

  • http://Website Eric

    I’ve been a last.fm/Audioscrobbler user since 2005 and I have used the streaming radio function only a handful of times. I mainly use the service to for the scrobbling and tracking of my music listening habits. No other service (that I know of) offers anything similar or is integrated into essentially EVERY player. That alone is worth paying for, to me, and that part is still free. Not sure what the big hub bub is all about.

  • golfpedaler

    No more Streaming Comedy…That really suck!!! I guess I’ll just uninstall.

  • http://Website ablkida

    They can eat a di… cake! Greedy bastards haha!

  • http://Website Wilso

    Be different, don’t be like everyone making charge to listen to music. I mean the radio doesn’t charge you to listen to it, come on now…

  • jack-jack

    Forgive my illiteracy in this area but what is the difference between mobile streaming and usual internet? When I connect to a site through my mobile, why can I not browse the exact same pages I browse via my PC?