I was appalled that Last.fm fell under the sway of its corporate lawyers, just like Pandora did, and Emusic before that. I was one of their international clients for years before… happy to pony up the monthly fees (not a great deal in the scheme of things) for the service whether or not I used it. Happy to be able to listen to legal music online, music not otherwise available where I lived.
But apparently, extending your audience isn’t something that concerns the four music giants that currently strangle music. It seems that some corporate lawyers decided that the music companies should be served before their customers. So now, no service. Period.
Fortunately, I have music options still. But it seems that Last.fm won’t be one of them. I will continue to use streaming radio, KKBox, and now that Itunes is open in Taiwan… I daresay that I’ll use them, too.
The trouble with what Pandora, Emusic & Last.fm are doing is that they are allowing competitors into the marketplace which will be difficult to remove in the future; creating a bad reputation for themselves; and letting opponents who can do deals better than they can do the deals that need to be done. Pity.