A myriad of startups and streaming services have showed up since Last.fm launched in 2002, making it harder for the service to stay afloat. The proof is in the numbers: just recently, Last.fm reported a 21 percent loss in revenue in 2012.
Here’s one way they might be cutting costs.
Last.fm has launched a beta version of their radio service that plays music from YouTube.
Users have to opt-in to the beta. In time, this change could dramatically cut Last.fm’s licensing overhead.
Last.fm’s Twitter says the radio service is now free worldwide. Previously, it was only available in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Brazil. A subscription was required in countries other than the U.S., U.K. and Germany. For reference, here’s what the old web radio looks like:
For now, the rules for mobile and desktop app radio seem to be the same. It’s available with a subscription in the U.S., U.K., and Germany.
More updates as they become available.