The popular internet radio service Last.fm will be cutting back its scale and will be offering only paid subscriptions from now on. The service will shut down in most countries around the world, but will still stay up in the US, UK, and Germany. Paid-for Last.fm radio will continue to be available in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Brazil, but all other countries will no longer have access to the service starting January 15.
Last.fm began charging for its internet radio service back in 2009 in all countries except the US, UK, and Germany. Last year, they began charging users for mobile app privileges. The company blames "licensing restrictions" on the cutbacks, as well as “various factors" that affect the service "differently in parts of the world.”
However, not all hope is lost. Paid subscribers in countries where Last.fm will no longer be available in will still be able to access ad-free browsing on Last.fm's website, as well as access to demos and other features that the company says it's working hard to add. Of course, those are measly features compared to getting a full-blown internet radio experience, but it's certainly better than nothing.
However, we don't think those paying subscribers will continue paying for much longer, so we're not sure how Last.fm will cope with losing so many of their customers, unless of course the service wasn't proving to be lucrative in the first place. Last.fm says that the real value of the service has always been their huge database of music, rather than the services it offers to users.
[via The Next Web]