Published Jan 24, 2008Effective yesterday (January 23), Last.fm is offering music lovers the largest collection worldwide of free, legal music on the internet. EMI, Warner, Universal, Sony BMG and more than 150,000 independent labels joined forces with the social-networking/streaming radio site after it was bought by CBS Corporation in May of 2007 to make this massive initiative a reality. For the first time music from all four majors has been freely available on one site, and links to iTunes, Amazon and 7 Digital will potentially keep the cash flowing by giving listeners the option to purchase a song after playing it more than three times.
Even unsigned artists are getting a cut of the love. Last.fm is also launching an "artist royalty" arrangement that will pay artists every time one of their songs is played on the site. The "free-on-demand" advertiser funded service is currently only available in the U.S., UK and Germany, but will expand to Canada and other countries over the next few months.