Music discovery community site Last.fm is extending its reach into social networking, the blogging community and photo sharing sites as new partnerships with a plethora of platforms including iGoogle, Bebo, Photobucket, Wordpress and Six Apart see the launch of its new ‘Last.fm in a box’ offering.
UK-based Last.fm was bought in May 2007 by CBS Interactive for US$280m and has been extending its reach and offering ever since, thanks to partnerships with Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner.
Other sites partnering with Last.fm include eMusic and Billboard.com, as well as CBS television stations and affiliates.
Touted as a complete ‘soundtrack for the web’ experience, Last.fm is free and does not require registration. However, if users do register the site yields more personalised results, including recommendations based on music they like, as well as concerts playing in their locale which might be of interest.
This new deal will introduce Last.fm to hundreds of millions of potential listeners and with the ‘box’ service being ad-supported, it will mean much more opportunity for new revenue.
As Last.fm is built on an open source model, it can easily be incorporated into these sites and will allow full access from Bebo et al to its entire music catalogue.
Currently, Last.fm has been available off-site through third-party applications and widgets on sites like MySpace and Facebook. However, with only limited functionality, these applications have never allowed users full access.
Martin Stiksel, Last.fm co-founder, said: “We’ve seen over the years how our offsite community – which experiences Last.fm through third-party widgets and applications – has grown massively, to more than 19 million additional users.
“With this new initiative, we aim to take that growth to the next level by enabling new partners and their users to engage as effortlessly as possible with our unparalleled music services.”
By Marie Boran