CBS Buys Last.fm For $280 Million
CBS has bought Last.fm, the community-based music-recommendation network, for $280 million in cash. The purchase follows CBS’ recent interest in more interactive companies, including Wallstrip.com, Joost and Spot Runner. Since its launch in 2002, Last.FM has grown as a online music service that allows fans with similar tastes to connect.
The London-based service has more than 15 million active users in over 200 countries, and has earned kudos for a system that recommends songs by tracking users’ music-playing habits and linking them to other fans with similar tastes. Within a year, CBS aims to explore applying Last.fm’s technology to building new communities for online videos that will include its own archive of hit shows and videos not owned by the company, CBS digital chief Quincy Smith said in a phone interview.
“The acquisition gives us the backing to put all those grand ideas we’ve had over the past few years into actionâ€”getting every song ever recorded and every music video ever made on the site, for example,” says Martin Stiksel, co-founder of Last.fm. “CBS gives us the power to be that ambitious and give our users the best music experience they’ll find anywhere, online or offline.”
Last.fm will continue to work independently of CBS, with CEO Felix Miller and co-founders Stiksel and Richard Jones still in control. CBS will implement their programming and technology into the expanding site, which currently has partnership with a number of major labels such as Universal and Sony Music Group.