John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Last.fm Founder Takes Top Honors in First Annual Mark Zuckerberg Hyperbole Competition

Looks like Last.fm co-founder Richard Jones and Facebook founder Mark “Once every hundred years media changes” Zuckerberg have at least one thing in common: a penchant for new-economy hyperbole.

Announcing the debut of Last.fm’s “unprecedented” on-demand music streaming platform, Jones–in a moment of Zuckerbergian grandiosity–proclaimed:

Today we’re redesigning the music economy.”

Which will no doubt come as a bit of a surprise to Apple, and Real, and Amazon and, above all, Imeem, which announced a similar ad-supported service last month.

To be fair, Last.fm’s free on-demand service seems a bit more compelling. Certainly, the CBS-owned site is the only one among the few to offer access to music from all four major labels and a host of independents to anyone willing to stare at an ad for while. And providing complete album streams on a “try before you buy” basis is truly a nice touch.

Still, Last.fm does have one significant limitation: You can listen to a track no more than three times unless you agree to pay for the subscription version of the service or purchase it from an affiliate. Will that be a deal-breaker for the average music fan or a good reason to buy your music through Last.fm, rather than iTunes? Hard to say. “The free-music-on-demand field has been a tough one, with many announcements but few real entries (consider, for example, the often-delayed Qtrax and vaporous Mashboxx),” notes the Los Angeles Times’s Jon Healey. “With CBS’ backing, Last.fm might be able to search longer for a workable formula than the typical start-up. But at some point, it has to find a way to pay the bills.”


Twitter’s Tanking

December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

2013 Was a Good Year for Chromebooks

December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

BlackBerry Pulls Latest Twitter for BB10 Update

December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”