Last.fm announced that their radio service mobile app and home entertainment devices will become premium(=paid) services starting Feb, 15. But the radio service on last.fm’s website in the US, UK, and Germany will remain free. The application on Xbox Live and Windows Phone 7 phones will also remain free. To keep using the mobile apps service, you need to be a Last.fm subscriber and pay $3 per month.
According to Last.fm’s new VP of Product Matthew Hawn, the reason they changed the radio service to subscription-only feature is that “it is not practical” to offer the ad-supported model in these markets. He said Last.fm will provide high quality and ad-free service at the “lowest (possible) cost.”
Matthew Hawn explained why they are making this change in detail on the company’s blog, here. But the users are complaining. Some say that charging mobile users is against the trend. The smart phone users are rapidly increasing and catching up with the number of desktop users. Last.fm seems to want to capitalize on this opportunity in the old fashioned way; pay-to-play.
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