Last.fm was one of the first streaming music services that purported to recommend users new music based on on what the program “scrobbled” from their hard drive. It works pretty well.
But like all similar services, Last.fm has run into issed with licensing. It costs just too damn much to pay for the rights to stream music. As a result, the company has had to kill free streaming in most countries, save the US, the UK and Germany.
Those nations will continue to get ad-supported streams through Last.fm’s website, although the desktop and mobile apps will be subscription-based.
Meanwhile, five other countries (including Canada) will see their subscription-only service continue. The rest of the world? Cut off as of January 15.
While I’m all for artists and content creators to get paid, these kinds of barriers only hurt innovation. And you know what happens when users can’t get the content they want, right? They find other places to get it. Illegal places. Just sayin’…