24 apr 2009, 11:13 av imbuteria
31 mar 2009, 22:15 av Neo_MixЗдесь - копия поста уважаемого Alizar с Хабра. Оригинал здесь
Публикую с незначительными сокращениями:
«После объявления о нашем решении ввести платную подписку во всех странах, кроме США, Великобритании и Германии, мы получили очень много отзывов», — так начинается сообщение в официальном блоге Last.fm, в котором основатели проекта говорят, что всё-таки решили пересмотреть своё решение и отложить подписку на неопределённое время, пока не разработают несколько дополнительных фич (подарочные сертификаты, поддержка альтернативных платёжных систем, оплаты по SMS, интеграция подписки в Last.fm API).
Очевидно, они увидели, что введение платной подписки сейчас станет настоящей катастрофой с точки зрения пиара, потому что это было крайне негативно воспринято основной массой аудитории.
Основатели Last.fm также объясняют причины географической дискриминации. Дело в том, что они просто не могут продавать достаточное количество рекламы для иностранной аудитории, так что в этих странах проект не может окупаться за счёт рекламы, как в США, Великобритании и Германии.
Маленькая победа, или временное перемирие?
29 mar 2009, 22:00 av ManofthecrowdSo it’s over. Last.fm, thanks to never-fulfilled greed of companies and capitalist blindness of it’s chiefs, has been conquered by the army of the golden calf. Another site that was based on enthusiasm of users and joy of spreading music all around the world is dead for the majority of people, for everyone who lives outside of another G3, that again consists of USA, UK and – this time – Germany. Sounds like a cheap repetition, like a rerun. But who cares, as long as money keeps on rolling to the wallets of people at CBS, that are dear to the hearts of all of the people they just screwed. But, wait, who cares about you, if you don’t live in the Great Three of 2009? Let’s face the fact – we all are not worth listening to free music with internet radio and the largest music catalogue online… for free. It turns out that everywhere outside of the United States, United Kingdom or United Germany… nevermind, everywhere outside of the Great Three of 2009 there exist a world that’s not even the third world, but a brand new quality of people, who are not worth the attention of CBS, but… well, their money is, for sure!
Just in case you didn’t notice, there’s no racism behind giving people different rights (or no rights at all) because of where they live.
At the same time, I do believe that many already existing sites that provide similar services to last.fm are going to get new users, and expand until someone at another company won’t come up with another beautiful idea. But then new sites will appear and the story will begin again. Because there is no place for emptiness in this world.
Long live social music revolution!
29 mar 2009, 14:59 av feedingBefore I stop scrobbling and go inactive, I was taking a look around me for the last time.
First, I wanted to see how adverts were put in Japanese last.fm site. I always use English page BTW.
I logged out so that I wouldn't see the usual member's top page but the general info page, to see if there is a message or something as to the change. No. There's not a word about the paid service. I lost the tiny piece of trust I'd had in last.fm.
Then, I opened a page for a Radiohead track (they are at the top of the chart right now; in fact, this is the "norm". Is Last.fm a Radiohead fan club? When was it that they released an album that was mediocre for them?) to see where the advert is: the advert which they have to rely on to fund the service in UK/US/DE, and which they tried but found unworkable outside the forementioned three countries.
And ... well, it is exactly the same I'm seeing on English page apart from one small fact that the advert here is not of a Michael Jackson concert but of a Japanese shopping site. Anyway if there's anyone who thinks that this works in a non-English speaking country called Japan, I seriously advise to talk to an ordinary Japanese last.fm member. This does not work. Never. Seriously, they should have done more before thinking about forcing users to pay. They say this was not an easy decision. Of course it was not. But it must have been an easy answer - less server traffic (= better service) and more money. Well, how was this sort of advert supposed to work?
Where's the advert? Deep down.
You only need to look at the top right corner (the music player), because you want to listen to the song, full-track or 30 sec preview. If you like the music, you may look for a "Buy this song" link just beside the song title or somewhere, but you don't scroll down for more content.
Even if you scroll down a bit, nobody goes down this deep. You may argue that there are user comments (shoutbox) which must be interesting to fans, but most of those comments are as simple as "nice" and "beautiful", or totally useless rants like "Radiohead VS Muse (or NIN or Coldplay or Oasis or whoever)". Few people would bother with these. And they are written in English. Many (or most of) Japanese users do not bother. They just press the "back" button or "home" key. That means, the advert will not be clicked, or even noticed.
Still worse, the advert is totally buried in the page - the problem is mainly the colours. In other words, the "new" layout and design (since last summer) has been an epic fail, too. Didn't they say they'd have more ads? Look at the blank space on the sidebars. What could I have done with that huge space? If their webpage designer is still around, he or she must be getting paid without doing his/her job properly.
In short, people from last.fm HQ did not do what they could have done, and whine about the revenue being too small outside UK/UK/DE (I read this somewhere, posted by RJ or somebody else with a tiny red icon). So they are unbelievably lazy and disgustingly stupid. Their planning and design failed hopelessly.
Well now, take a look around my neighbourhood. For them with the tiny red square on their avatars, the only users that matter and that they don't want to lose (by making the whole site basically a paid-service radio) are in the UK/US/DE - the key marketing areas. But here in my neighbourhood, even though I mainly listen to UK/USA (mostly independent but commercial) bands, there are less Americans and British than "outsiders".
Neighbour 01 is from Russia (And So I Watch You From Afar, Godflesh, 65daysodstatic, Final).
Neighbour 02 is from Colombia (ASIWYFA, 65dos, Isis, Maybeshewill).
Neighbour 03 is from Australia (Nine Inch Nails, KJ, 65dos, Telefon Tel Aviv).
Neighbour 04 is from Hungary (NIN, Scorn, Coil, Techno Animal).
Neighbour 05 is from France (KJ, Scorn, Godflesh, Final).
Neighbour 06 is from Canada (NIN, Godflesh, Scorn, Killing Joke).
Neighbour 07 is from Indonesia (ASIWYFA, NIN, Godflesh, TTA).
Neighbour 08 is from Italy (NIN, TTA, Helmet, Trent Reznor).
Neighbour 09 is from, finally, UK (NIN, Godflesh, Scorn, 65dos).
Neighbour 10 is from Poland (NIN, Godflash, dEUS, Final).
Neighbour 11 is from Sweden (KJ, Scorn, Godflesh, Final).
Neighbour 12 is from UK (Godflesh, Final, Scorn, 65dos).
Neighbour 13 is from, at last, the USA (Coil, Scorn, Final, Muslimgauze).
Neighbour 14 is from the USA (NIN, KJ, 65dos, TTA).
Neighbour 15 is from ... unstated (NIN, Godflesh, 65dos, Final).
Neighbour 16 is from the USA (NIN, KJ, Godflesh, Coil).
Neighbour 17 is, again, from the USA (Scorn, Coil, Muslimgauze, Techno Animal).
Neighbour 18 is also from the USA (Coil, Muslimgauze, Aphex Twin, Plaid).
Neighbour 19 is from ... unstated (65dos, TTA, Four Tet, Aphex Twin).
Neighbour 20 is from the USA (Godflesh, 65dos, Neurosis, Boris).
Neighbour 21 is from Italy (NIN, 65dos, Godflesh, Final).
Neighbour 22 is from Russia (NIN, Scorn, Coil, Boris).
Neighbour 23 is from Poland (KJ, Godflesh, Final, Coil).
Neighbour 24 is from ... unstated (dEUS, KJ, 65dos, Coil).
Neighbour 25 is from Ukraine (NIN, Godflesh, Scorn, Coil).
Neighbour 26 is from Canada (Coil, Muslimgauze, Distance, Techno Animal).
Neighbour 27 is from Russia (ASIWYFA, 65dos, Maybeshewill, Isis).
Neighbour 28 is from USA (Godflesh, 65dos, Maybeshewill, Final).
Neighbour 29 is from Czech Republic (NIN, Coil, 65dos, S:cage).
Neighbour 30 is from ... unstated (TTA, Isis, Plaid, David Holmes).
Other neighbours are from Latvia, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Romania, Finland, Spain, Ireland, and UK/USA. I remember I used to have some more Latin American and Asian neighbours.
So, how many of my neighbours will be gone in a few weeks of time?
One staff member, Russ, stated as below on the discussion board:
*emphasis added by me.
Russ said... 26 Mar 2009, 16:25
Has Last FM thought about an option for a free 'non-commerical / independent artist' (world wide) radio? So free uploaded music from artists that do not claim royalties that can be listened to for free?
I think this is a great idea, but we're not going to implement this (at least to start with) because royalty-free music constitutes such a small percentage of our catalogue. Hopefully we will have this functionality soon though :).
Fully understandable as a company's statement. But is this what last.fm is supposed to be saying? "A small percentage" of the "community" does matter if you are honestly building a community. Or is this their "social music revolution"? Is this what the "free the music" statement meant? LOL. Revolution, and meet the new boss.
Dear last.fm, drop these New-Labour-esque soundbites, right now. And make the site more Radiohead-and-Coldplay, or Metallica-and-whatsoever.
And they're doing more than ruining their own core concept in "discriminating" users outside three juicy areas. Me and many of my neighbours are basically told that we are a useless bunch for last.fm because the advert they lazily put doesn't work, and that we have to pay for the radio function or stop using it. In their view, the problem is not on their side but ours. In my view, it's quite opposite.
What they can do in UK etc fails in Japan etc - it is their problem. What should they have done? To have ad teams around the world is not realistic. But at least they could have done a good (and professional) site design.
And they should have done something to encourage subscription - something like "subscribe now for special features and get 10 percent discount", running for four weeks. This must have been much better - more workable and less offensive. I would have subscribed if it had been like that.
I have no trust in them now. This is a shame because I like this service and am willing to pay the monthly fee.
I will give no more scrobble data to them. Never. Even if they would put the "free radio" feature back in place. I am very angry.
I thank my friends, neighbours, fellow group members and other users, whom I never met or spoken to, for making my life richer. It was fun. Because my library owes so much to the community, I will not delete my account. I just leave. I may use the embedded player for full-track songs from time to time. Thus, they will no longer recommend new music to me. Last.fm, which was the main music website for me for years, will be one of the alternatives to amazon.com mp3 store's 30 seconds previews.
Thank you, last.fm. It was fun while it lasted. It's a shame I don't feel good to be a last.fm user any longer.
approx. 30 March 2009, 0:00 (JST)
*The last radio station was Belgium global tag radio. This was the first tag radio station I listened to after I got this user ID.
*The last track, "Requiem for Last.fm - The Very Last Scrobble", is done by SeanDeigh, and downloadable from this post by him. Nice little piece of music.
Edited: 30 March at 19:00 (JST) to fix some silly mistake (grammar and spelling). There might be some more of those.
29 mar 2009, 09:24 av f-xoolNo pirmdienas, 30. marta Last.fm vairs neļaus klausīties Last.fm radio par brīvu. Par šo iespēju turpmāk būs jāmaksā €3.00 mēnesī.
Protams, tas nav daudz, un to droši vien var atļauties lielākā daļa Last.fm lietotāju, taču, kas ir par brīvu, tam ir jābūt par brīvu. Kas dīvaini, Last.fm arī turpmāk ļaus klausīties radio par brīvu ASV, Vācijas un Lielbritānijas lietotājiem. Diskriminējoši.
Šī mēnešmaksa noteikti liks daudziem pašreizējiem lietotājiem vienkārši pārstāt lietot Last.fm. Šī mēnešmaksa negatīvi ietekmēs tos indie māksliniekus, kas paši izplata savu mūziku par brīvu un nemaz nevēlas, lai viņiem par to maksā. Kā viņi tagad varēs popularizēt sevi? Last.fm saka, ka par to padomās, bet – kā var nesolīt?
Tāpēc Last.fm lietotāji tiek aicināti uz streiku – no 30. marta līdz 5. aprīlim pārtraukt skroblēt dziesmas. Kā nekā tieši tas, ko klausās lietotāji, arī darbina pašu Last.fm.
Pat ja tam nebūs nekādu jūtamu rezultātu, es tik un tā piedalīšos.
Vairāk informācijas FREE IS FREE domubiedru grupā.
Tā savāca vairāk kā 1000 atbalstītājus vien divu dienu laikā un 2000 – četrās dienās.
[url=http://www.last.fm/user/asia-research/journal/2009/03/28/2lqi64_open_letter_to_the_lastfm_management]open letter to the lastfm management[/url]
28 mar 2009, 16:49 av asia-researchthis letter arived from a solidary user from USA and should be widely read not only by the management. Thanks !
March 27, 2009
To the management of last.fm,
On Tuesday, 24 March 2009, last.fm announced that it would begin discriminating against last.fm users outside of the “Big Three” countries—the UK, the USA, and Germany—by charging the outsiders for formerly free radio streaming services, while the same services remained free to users who constituted geographical insiders. This letter of protest is written in the name of all last.fm users, both subscribers and non-subscribers, insiders and outsiders, who object to the adoption of this borderline unethical business practice, and to the arrogant way in which the announcement was handled.
Charging different groups of people a different price for the exact same services offends our universal sense of fairness. It is our deeply held conviction that all people in the international community should be treated fairly and equally, regardless of national origin. Although the decision to extend free radio services to some privileged countries while charging a fee to others may be a trifling injustice in the large picture, even a small act that strikes deeply at our most precious principles of equality must be objected to vigorously.
Reasonable users understand that last.fm is a venture for profit, and that it must obtain revenue, whether through advertising or subscription fees, to pay for server space, music licensing fees, salaries, and other costs. This recognition does not prevent us from objecting to this ill-conceived discriminatory pricing plan.
Although we are not privy to last.fm’s corporate board meetings, we believe that last.fm could have taken less offensive measures to solve any revenue issues they may be experiencing. Increases in advertising content, or scaling back the free catalogue for non-subscribers, are possibilities that come to mind. Of course, the most logical solution would be to raise the subscription fees slightly—but for all last.fm users equally, not just for those in favored regions that last.fm considers outside its core market. Any of these moves would be met with predictable grumbling from the last.fm community, but none would be as patently offensive as the option to discriminate against certain users that last.fm has actually chosen.
Which brings us to our second complaint: the dismissive way in which last.fm has treated its users with the announcement of the new charges. Last.fm badly bungled their notification; the official made no attempt to justify the necessity of this move to affected users. The official announcement gives no reason for the move, but brusquely states “we need to ask our listeners from countries other than USA, UK and Germany to subscribe for €3.00 per month.” Only after outraged users demanded an explanation for the discriminatory pricing scheme in the comments on the announcement did a last.fm representative supply a business justification for the move, based on a greater ability to sell advertising within the “Big Three.” Even accepting the reasons for the business decision at face value, affected users—who have promoted last.fm to their friends, provided valuable content for the site in the form of artists’ descriptions and pictures, and formed the loyal base of visitors which allows last.fm to set the advertising rates which provide it with revenue—deserved an honestm upfront explanation for this painful policy change. By giving no explanation for this change until pressed, last.fm has deliberately fostered the impression that they are sacrificing users outside the “Big Three.” Last.fm betrayed the loyalty these users invested in the company.
Predictably, waves of users from the “outsider” countries have already fled the last.fm community, either because of the decrease in services or from offense at being treated as second-class world citizens. More are sure to follow in the coming days and weeks. Part of last.fm’s appeal has been the creation of an international community, united not by nationality but by love of music. The ability to discover a common bond of music between users in Japan and Holland, Russia and the United States, to exchange ideas and develop lasting friendships, is one of the Internet’s noblest abilities, and last.fm was the most visible outlet enabling such musical connections. Sadly, last.fm’s latest corporate decision will diminish those opportunities and impoverish its community of users—a community which is its greatest business asset.
It is still not too late for last.fm to change course before alienating such an immense portion of its user base. It is as difficult, perhaps even more so, for a corporation to admit it has made a mistake, to say “I’m sorry, I was wrong and I will fix it,” as it is for an individual. But for last.fm to suddenly reverse course and scrap the discriminatory pricing scheme would not be a sign of weakness, but of rare corporate strength and courage. We hope that the management of last.fm will hear and consider our complaints, and make amends.
A user from a “Big Three” country, on behalf of the last.fm user community
28 mar 2009, 13:10 av MainiSorriHi everyone,
Did you know that we have to pay for listening to music on Last.fm after March 30? Read the message that I got from radio kb7clx!
I wrote a blog "Last.fm is stopped free" http://mainisorri.com There you also find links to groups on Last.fm that protest against this madness.
Greetings from Sweden
Hello all, I've just found out from last.fm's official blog that all users outside the US, UK and Germany will have to subscribe to listen to last.fm radio after March 30 pass it on, tell your friends and the leaders of groups you are in, because this information is not common knowledge yet and doesn't seem to be published anywhere else yet.
Oi gente, já acabei de saber do blog do last.fm que apartir do dia 30 de Março o rádio da last.fm vai ser pago para quem não mora nos EUA, Reino Unido ou Alemanha. Fale pros seus amigos, e os líderes dos grupos em que vocês são membros, porque isto ainda não é notícia bem conhecida na comunidade de last.fm ainda.
Hola a todos. ya descubrí que apartir del 30 de Marzo, todos que viven fuera de los EEUU, el Reino Unido y Alemánia vana a tener que subscribirse para escuchar la rádio de last.fm. Díganlo para todos sus amigos, y los líderes de todos los grupos en que sean miembros, porque esta notícia solamente está publicada en el blog de last.fm y no es bien conocida entre la maioría de los usuários.
28 mar 2009, 10:20 av SilverAnubisMe hace gracia las alarmas que han tenido practicamente todo el Last por lo de la radio de pago ¿qué no sabiais que no es la primera vez que sucede? Pandora ya sufrió lo mismo... pero yo sigo escuchandola.
Vamos a ver, la mejor manera de contraatacar, no es dejar de hacer scroblings y gilipolleces de esas, aquí está la manera de darles en la llaga:
Os alarmais enseguida, pensar en soluciones que les duelan de verdad, y esta es de las que si nos pillan nos ganariamos una expulsión a lo grande del Last, pero nos iremos con honores.
Con esto, podreis seguir escuchando la radio on-line cambiando vuestra IP, así me funciona en Pandora y nunca me ha fallado.
Así que... ¡comience la revolución!
27 mar 2009, 23:32 av polexiaomgOne of the stupid things I hear a lot is that free online radio sites such as last.fm make the music industry loose cash. In reality I (and millions of others) have discovered many new artists due to last.fm. When I like a song I buy it on a cd or from itunes so I can have it on my ipod. So last.fm making people from some countries pay is going to have the music industry loose money. Here I have calculated about how much US dollars I have spent on music I found though last.fm. It may not be a lot but im sure most frequent users have the same experience as me. Here is an example of why music being made available freely helps everyone. The music fans, the artists, the itunes fat cats, the independent record stores, the fat cat chain stores etc.
Babes in Toyland
Mother Love Bone
So in total thanks to last fm I have…
63 songs and one album from itunes
Around Ten albums
about 108.00 on albums
About 75.00 of that money went to independent/local cd stores
Spent about 73.60 on itunes
Discovered 20 new artists.
Giving the music industry in total 256.60 bucks more then I would without last.fm
And plan on buying at least six more full albums
Note-Total cost doesn’t include stuff I haven’t bought yet
*These include songs/cds I am going to buy next time I see them at a store.
?cost is estimated
^bought from resale/local stores, multiple means I bought multiple.
So i would like to say fuck you to the folks in the RIAA, who control last fm, and Metallica (who do have some cool songs though, too bad they are losing cash because i cant play them on last fm).
Thank you for reading my boring numbers,i honestly dont like numbers because frankly i feel there are to many of them. But i guess they work well when trying to get your point across.
27 mar 2009, 19:47 av DoubleUIMfree is free A free new track, created on request of and to support the group FREE IS FREE that is against these changes last.fm announced http://blog.last.fm/2009/03/24/lastfm-radio-announcement