Feeds

Last.fm scrobbled for $280m

CBS whips the long tail

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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...

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
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
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.