Last.fm had a very bad news for its users today, surprisingly not for Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360 users. Matthew Hawn, VP of Product at Last.fm today blogged that they will discontinue its ad-based model on Last.fm mobile apps and on home entertainment devices will become subscription based model. Here is the excerpt from the blog,
Last.fm Radio will remain free on the Last.fm website in the US, UK and Germany and for the US and UK users of Xbox Live and Windows Mobile 7 phones. Weâ€™ll also continue to offer radio for free via the Last.fm desktop app.
On the Last.fm website an ad-supported, free-to-listeners model is what supports our online radio services in the US, UK and Germany. In other markets and on emerging mobile and home entertainment devices, it is not practical for us to deliver an ad supported radio experience, but instead, we will migrate to what we believe is the highest quality, lowest cost ad-free music service in the world.
When asked why Â Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7 were exempt Â he said:
Q: How come Xbox and Windows Phone 7 devices count as “desktop” apps, but the likes of Sonos and Squeezebox don’t?
A: They aren’t desktop — they are mobile or CE devices too — but they are free-to-their users specifically because MS has subsidised the radio experience. This is no different than a mobile carrier choosing to subsidise an experience for their customers too. Xbox Live customers are paying for a great set of gaming experiences and Last.fm was a great fit for them. We see the Kinect Last.fm experience as an excellent one. And it is also ad-supported.
So, Windows Phone 7 is the only smartphone platform that allows free Last.fm service. Way to go Microsoft!
What do you think of this Microsoft Exclusive deal?