Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Last.fm Now Powered By YouTube

last.fm image
In what may be the first of more such alliances, digital music site Last.fm recently launched a radio service powered by YouTube streaming. What makes this significant though, is that it may be a way around the service paying music licensing, since the streams are being generated via YouTube.

Last.fm was one of the first digital services to provide personalized streams, and was growing along with the rest of the digital music space until purchased by CBS in 2007 (where have we heard that before?). Since then it has struggled for attention as both new and old competitors have moved ahead in public visibility.

The struggling service withdrew from most world markets last year except for the US, the UK and Germany in order to control licensing costs. The new deal with YouTube may make it possible to expand back into the markets it left without paying royalties, or at least that's the hope.

This could set a precedent that could prove to be quite unfavorable to artists, bands, songwriters, publishers and labels, and will no doubt be scrutinized by legal departments everywhere.

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