So Last.fm has announced that for users outside the US they’re charging a monthly subscription fee for the radio option. Here, go read this to find out the specifics.
I got rid of my Last.fm profile a while ago, it was too much trouble and I just listen to my own library of music most of the time anyway, I have other avenues for discovering new music, and honestly it’s not that huge of a deal for everyone to know exactly what I’ve been listening to, week by week or whatever. You wanna know what I’m listening to these days? How about reading here, or any of the other places I have a “MUSIC” section in a personal profile that lists the bands I like.
I’ve been following news and reports and opinions on the rise of paying for content on the web, and I have to wonder if this is going to stick, or just end up like the bullshit Facebook went through where they made the mistake of asking the opinions of users about new changes to the interface of that site, and then bowing down to user pressure to go back to former page setups or whatever, I can’t even remember to be honest.
Because for a long time, the Wall Street Journal’s online content (well exclusive online content, anyway) has been only for paid subscribers, and people paid for it. Until some recent hullabaloo with a massive increase in subscription prices and shady ways of trying to get online subscribers to also get a physical paper as well, it was a model that seemed to work relatively well. Flickr has users pay for “pro” profiles with advanced storage and other features. I have a “pro” account at Flickr, I think it’s worth it, and I know that I’m not the only one.
Is this move by Last.fm a sign of the changing face of the Web? I mean, if what’s essentially a music-oriented social networking site is starting to charge for certain “premiere” features because ad revenue no longer covers it (another topic entirely), is this going to embolden Facebook, Myspace, or whatever else people use that has all sorts of crazy features like streaming music or advanced games as well as “conventional” social networking features like info and pictures? I know that that Myspace bulletin rumor about being charged for maintaining your Myspace profile coming true seems like bullshit and a worst-case scenario, but this could potentially be a sign of things to come.
However, I honestly don’t know how this is going to play out as a “good” or “bad” thing in the long run.