Last.fm Strikes Sony BMG Licensing Deal, One Major Remains

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Lofty startup Last.fm has now finalized a licensing agreement with Sony BMG, the third major to jump on board.

According to deal terms revealed Monday, the licensing pact allows Last.fm to position Sony BMG tracks within its recommendation-focused, streaming radio offering.  That spells greater discovery for Sony, and a broader catalog selection for Last.fm.  “We’ve always aimed to have everything ever recorded available to listen to on our site, and having access to Sony’s collection of some of the world’s most popular music takes us another huge step closer,” said Last.fm cofounder Martin Stiksel.

The tie-up follows a gargantuan, $280 million buyout deal involving CBS.  The nosebleed purchase offers the solidly traditional broadcaster access to a younger demographic, and a step towards greater media interactivity.  For Last.fm, the injection of Sony BMG content improves the breadth of content considerably, though the streaming radio aspect is just one component in a larger recommendation and community play.  That includes a Last.fm technology that learns user preferences by observing playback behavior across iTunes and iPods.  Earlier major label deals – both finalized in February of this year – involved Warner Music Group and EMI.