It’s no secret that streaming music services must pay a licensing premium to offer their libraries on smartphones and other devices, but now it seems that Last.fm’s ad revenue wasn’t enough to pay those bills.
Effective February 15, Last.fm will charge $3 per month for access on iPhones, Android phones and home entertainment devices such as Sonos and Logitech’s Squeezebox. The exceptions are Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which includes Last.fm with a $50 per year Xbox Live subscription, and Windows Phone 7, which will remain free through 2011. Ads will be removed as part of the shake-up.
Last.fm’s website will remain free with advertising in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, but Matthew Hawn, Last.fm’s vice president of product, explained in a blog post that an ad-supported service is simply “not practical” on other devices and in other countries.