Feeds

Last.fm scrobbled for $280m

CBS whips the long tail

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Media conglomerate CBS has bought Last.fm, the London-based social music network, for $280m.

Despite falling well short of the daft $450m buy-out which rumours linked CBS rival Viacom with recently, the deal cuts a new high water mark 2.0 for UK internet companies. The move underscores how big media companies are subsuming the most successful user-driven web ideas, leaving the me too 2.0 flotsam with long tail hot air and no access to advertising bounty.

Last.fm provides personalised internet radio and music video based on what similar users like. It has also rapidly become a top source for music event information. For its cash, CBS gets about 15 million active users worldwide. The firm pointed to Last.fm's success in building a young online community as a key attraction.

Last.fm, which was bankrolled by UK venture capital, gets the huge advertiser reach and possibility of profit that only a big network can provide, along with the financial clout it needs in the meantime to finish cutting deals with labels to allow it to webcast all recorded music. CBS is also the largest radio owner in the US, where Last.fm trails comparable personalised radio service Pandora.

As well as hundreds of independents, Last.fm, has so far signed up two of the four major labels, and prior to today's news was upbeat about the remaining pair of Sony BMG and Universal.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Last.fm's founders will continue to run the firm independently. Taking the service to mobile devices will be near the top of their to-do list: Pandora recently announced a raft of developments to free its stations from PC-based listening. ®

Bootnote

CBS was the long-time owner of Columbia Records until it sold up in 1988. The label's now part of Sony BMG, a leading light in the Recording Industry Ass. of America, which in turn has led a crusade to bully internet radio stations into paying grossly inflated royalties. Funny how things come around...

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.