Music licensing has become stricter and stricter due to the immense amount of untrustworthy and illegal music sharing stations there are across the net. Last.fm has provided their members with tons of free radio stations with limited listening, as well as offering subscriber-only radio stations such as the Loved Tracks Radio, Playlists, My Neighbourhood, and Personal Tag Radio Now that we all are familiar with and love on our handy dandy scrobblers. Unfortunately, beginning November 17th, Last.fm has been forced to omit some of these subscriber-only stations in order to direct their “energy on improving our most popular features, developing new and innovative stations, and offering the best music discovery service to our global audience,” says the members at Last.fm themselves.
Stations such as the Loved Tracks, Playlists, and Personal Tag Radio will now be discontinued starting November 17th. Although Last.fm does not provide a direct reason why, we’ve received a hint that it is related to the long and complicated process of music licensing. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that music licensing is killing internet radio. It’s all a safety precaution. The Internet can get problematic, and in order to avoid copyright infringements, Internet stations such as Last.fm, Pandora, AOL, and Rhapsody need to abide by the rules in order to stay alive as a radio station as a whole. Cutting a few stations here and there does in fact allow Last.fm to “develop new and innovative stations” and offer “the best music discovery service to our global audience” because mending and molding their stations according to music licensing rules and regulations will only keep them on top for their members and users. Working with music licensing rules keeps these companies honest, as well as helping the music industry and their artists by educating their listeners and providing free music here and there, but not to an abusive extent.
And good news is Last.fm is not changing access to your list of loved tracks, playlists, personal tags. You will also be able to listen to global tag stations. Find out more about the changes occurring at Last.fm by clicking here. Internet Radio is still alive and rockin’!