Feeds

Last.fm scrobbled for $280m

CBS whips the long tail

Security for virtualized datacentres

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...

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.