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.”
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.”