So, it was recently announced that music website Last.FM is aligning their business model with that of DRM music streaming service Spotify by charging users £3 a month to stream music from their mobile devices. When I first heard this news I have to admit I was pretty peeved – and to some degree I still am!
Just before Christmas, I signed up to a 24 month mobile phone contract for the first time ever so that I could get my hands on a HTC Desire. Knowing that I could stream music from my Last.FM library on the go was one of the main reasons I wanted to upgrade my phone. To date, the majority of my monthly internet allowance of 1GB has been expended on streaming Last.FM radio during my train commutes to and from work. If I do not choose to pay the monthly £3, then I will be using far less of my data allowance rendering my phone contract less value for money.
“It’s only £3 a month!” I hear you cry.
If Last.FM had announced a site revamp at the same time as these new charges (which apply from February 15th) then I wouldn’t have even questioned paying for the service. The fact that listeners are now expected to pay for a service that is identical to when it was free seems a bit cheeky of Last.FM. At the very least, I like to think that the owners of Last.FM will begin to fix the bugs in the wake of this new subscription model – and therefore; financial backing.
Problems with track tagging needs to be addressed since many tracks are paired with incorrect details and this causes incorrect scrobbling to occur. Making the library more comprehensive so that I am not always presented with the same tracks in shuffle mode would also be great. If (for some unknown reason) tracks are scrobbled to my account as “Unknown Artist”, then I would like to be able to alter this information so that my profile and listening statistics are more accurate.
A cleaner, smoother redesigned interface for the website would also be appreciated but this is less important compared to these other issues.
Will I pay the subscription fee? I am still undecided. If I am going to pay for a music streaming service, I feel more inclined to pay £10 a month for a premium account with the more reliable and comprehensive Spotify. If a bargain annual subscription deal is announced by Last.FM and changes are promised, I could be swayed…
Kat Cole works as a copywriter and has a love of social media and rock music. Her current favorite band is Deftones. She is currently looking for offices to rent so that she can start her own music promotions company in her home town of Brighton.