Admist an increasingly competitive streaming service market, popular online music catalogue last.fm is set to introduce a paywall for part of it’s services in the UK, US and Germany.
From January 15, paid subscriptions will be mandatory in order to use the desktop radio service in the countries; a move that has already been made in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. The Guardian reports that the radio service will be scrapped in most other countries due to “licensing restrictions.”
“We will continue to look at the state of the market in other territories and hope to expand again in future as it becomes more viable,” said Last.fm. “When it can be done so economically we hope to be able to open streaming to a wider audience in the future,” a representative said.
Those who currently use its free, ad-funded online streaming service, its most popular offering with millions of users, will be glad to know that it remains unaffected by these changes.
Last.fm recently celebrated its 10th birthday, and while its start was especially promising recent years have seen a decline following it’s acquisition by CBS in 2007, with the service reporting a pre-tax loss of 4.4m last year. Subscriptions made up 23% of its £7.3m global revenue in the same space of time compared to advertising, which accounted for 70%.