Founders Scrobble For the Last.FM Time
Felix Miller, Martin Stiksel and Richard Jones launched Last.FM, an internet radio platform, back in January 2002 from a living room in East London. In 2007 they sold Last.FM to CBS and by April this year the service had played over 1.8 billion tracks – just for the top 40 alt-rock acts alone.
Unlike some digital acquisitions (e.g. ITV’s purchase of Friends Reunited), the service has gone from strength to strength under ownership by a traditional media baron.
This week the 3 founding partners have resigned. They have worked through their period of contractual obligation after the sale to CBS – and more. Personally I’m hoping they have a new business idea ready to set-up, as the Last.FM service is great.
Last.FM has continued to perform well despite increased competition. Blip.FM are in the same service space, while the music service by MySpace has reinvigorated that social network particularly in the States. The digital streaming service at Shoutcast is popular amongst do-it-yourself digital radio DJ’s. And other ‘all you can eat’ music subscription services target those seeking portable digital music, such as Music Station from Omnifone.
There is also continued competition from peer-to-peer file sharing services, notably including the launch of Spotify in the UK back in February. But illegal music file sharing is still very much a live issue. Back in April the founders of the file sharing site Pirate Bay were sentenced to a year in prison by a Swedish court.
I’ll be blogging about the huge volume of tracks played on Last.Fm and the sticky issue of performing rights and royalties soon. As you know, YouTube in the UK is still blocking music video downloads as it is in dispute with the Performing Rights Society over the amount paid per play and which artists are covered.
Wow, I wrote a blog article on digital music without mentioning Apple iTunes for a change. Oh.
Below is a copy of the ‘Brief History of Digital Music’ created by Revolution
The MP3 file is invented by the Fraunhofer Institute, following years of research into compressing files
MP3.com is founded, enabling users to access their music online, provided they have a genuine copyright version
eMusic launches, becoming the first website to offer MP3 files for download as well as a subscription service
Saehan, a Korean electronic manufacturer, produces MPMan, the world’s first MP3 player
Napster, the first large-scale P2P network, is founded by Boston student Shawn Fanning
Shazam, the mobile music recognition service, is established by Californian students who later move to London
A US judge rules that MP3.com is liable for copyright infringement, one of the first rulings in favour of record labels
Niklas Zennstrom, Janus Friis and Priit Kasesalu (who subsequently set up Skype and Joost) found KaZaa
Napster is ordered to shut down by the US Circuit Court of Appeal for infringing copyright
Apple sells its first iPod. It has sold almost 200m since, becoming the world’s most popular music player
Last.fm launches in London, the first ad-funded internet radio platform offering personalised music
Apple launches the iTunes Music Store which has since grown to account for 70 per cent of digital music sales
Napster re-emerges with a paid-for model after Roxio bought its remaining assets at a bankruptcy auction
Coca-Cola, with Mycokemusic, becomes one of the first major brands to launch a download store
Downloaded tracks outsell physical singles for the first time and are later incorporated into the UK singles chart
HMV and Virgin Megastores are late to the party when they both launch online music sites
Apple sells 500 million tracks through iTunes after just over two years of offering downloads
Microsoft lifts lid on Zune, its rival to the iPod, which promises to deliver ‘connected music and entertainment’
Apple unveils the iPhone, providing the long-awaited joint experience of communication and music
Radiohead releases its single In Rainbows online, inviting people to ‘pay what they like’ to download it
UK record labels, media owners and ISPs agree a Memorandum of Understanding to combat illegal file sharing
Nokia brings its Comes With Music mobile play to the UK market, backed by a multimillion-pound ad campaign
Spotify opens free registration in the UK and becomes one of the fastest-growing start-ups in history
The founders of Pirate Bay, a peer-to-peer file sharing site, are sent to jail for a year by a Swedish court.
Filed under: Blog Post | 2 Comments
Tags: Digital Radio, Last.FM, Streaming Music