Last.fm

Last.fm logo

Last.fm builds a detailed profile of each user's musical taste by recording details of the tracks the user listens to, either from Internet radio stations, or the user's computer, or many portable music devices.

Quick Fact

Summary

  • Ranked #1,550th worldwide
  • Active users 40 M
  • Type Interest-based networks
  • Launched date Mar 20, 2002
  • Employees 50
  • Headquarters S17-29 Hawley Crescent, London, UK
  • Parent company ViacomCBS Streaming

    (2007 - present)

Founders

person
Felix Mille London
person
MartinStiksel
person
MichaelBreidenbruecker
person
ThomasWillomitzer

Networks

  • Brand value In 2020 N/A
  • Revenue in 2020 N/A
  • Net loss In 2020 N/A

The Hack

The HackLast.fm passwords hacked in 2012. (via pcmag.com)

In Mar 2012, Last.fm was breached by hackers and more than 43M user accounts were compromised.

The full extent of the hack, and its connection to similar attacks against Tumblr, LinkedIn, and MySpace in the same time frame, were not confirmed until Aug 2016.

The passwords were encrypted using an outdated, unsalted MD5 hash. Three months after the breach, in Jun of 2012, Last.fm issued the following statement:

“We are currently investigating the leak of some Last.fm user passwords. This follows recent password leaks on other sites, as well as information posted online. As a precautionary measure, we’re asking all our users to change their passwords immediately.”

Original Idea

original ideaoriginal idea

Last.fm was founded in 2002 by Felix Miller, Martin Stiksel, Michael Breidenbruecker, and Thomas Willomitzer, all of them from Germany or Austria, as an Internet radio station and music community site, using similar music profiles to generate dynamic playlists.

Last.fm was founded in 2002 by Felix Miller, Martin Stiksel, Michael Breidenbruecker, and Thomas Willomitzer, all of them from Germany or Austria, as an Internet radio station and music community site, using similar music profiles to generate dynamic playlists.

The input could come through an Audioscrobbler plugin or a Last.fm station.

The sites also shared many community forums, although a few were unique to each site. The old Audioscrobbler site at the audioscrobbler.com domain name was wholly merged into the new Last.fm site on 9 Aug 2005.

Brief History

2002

Last.fm won the Europrix.

Mar Last.fm was founded in the United Kingdom.
2003

Last.fm was fully integrated with Audioscrobbler profiles.

Last.fm was nominated for the Prix Ars Electronica.

2004

Received the first round of angel money, from Peter Gardner.

2005
Aug Last.fm and Audioscrobbler were merged.
Sep Audioscrobbler.net was launched.
2006

Received the first round of venture capital funding from European investors Index Ventures, whose General Partners Neil Rimer and Danny Rimer.

Jul The site began expanding its language with a Japanese version.
Oct Won Best Community Music Site at the BT Digital Music Awards.
Dec Last.fm teamed with EMI on Tuneglue-Audiomap.
2007
Jan Was nominated for Best Website at the NME Awards.
May Channel 4 Radio was to broadcast a weekly show called Worldwide Chart reflecting what Last.fm users around the world were listening to.

CBS acquired Last.fm for £140M ($280M)

2008
Jul Launched featuring a completely new layout, color scheme, and several new features.
2009
Feb TechCrunch said CBS gave Last.fm data to RIAA.
Mar Last.fm announced a change in free stream listening policy.
Jun Last.fm founders left the company.
Sep Last.fm programming would be available in four major market FM stations for the first time on their HD Radio multicasts.
Oct The programming, which consisted mostly of music aggregated by Last.fm's user-generated weekly music charts as well as live performances and interviews from the Last.fm studios in New York City, debuted.
2010
Apr Last.fm announced that they would be removing the option to preview entire tracks, instead of redirecting to sites such as the free Hype Machine and pay-to-listen MOG for this purpose.

A new "Play direct from artist" feature was introduced.

Nov The ability to listen to custom radio stations ("personal tag radio", "loved tracks radio") was withdrawn.
2012
Feb A new beta desktop client had been launched.
Mar Last.fm was breached by hackers and more than 43M user accounts were compromised.
Jun Last.fm made users aware of the attack.

Launched Last.fm Originals, a new website featuring exclusive performances and interviews from various musical artists.

Aug The site redesign went live for all users
Dec Was announced that Last.fm would discontinue radio service.
2013
Jan The new Scrobbler was released for all users.
2014
Jan Announced on-demand integration with Spotify and a new YouTube-powered radio player.
Mar Last.fm announced they would be discontinuing their streaming radio service.
2015
Apr Released a subscriber-exclusive beta of a new website redesign.
2016

Music Manager was discontinued

Network Features

User profile

User profile
																Last.fm user profile. (via last.fm)

A Last.fm user can build a musical profile.

  • By listening to their personal music collection on a music player application on a computer or an iPod with an Audioscrobbler plugin.
  • By listening to the Last.fm Internet radio service, either with the Last.fm client or with the embedded player.

All songs played are added to a log from which personal top artist/track bar charts and musical recommendations are calculated.

This automatic track logging is called scrobbling.

Last.fm automatically generates a profile page for every user which includes basic information such as their username, avatar, date of registration and total number of tracks played. There is also a Shoutbox for public messages. Profile pages are visible to all, together with a list of top artists and tracks, and the 10 most recently played tracks (can be expanded).

Each user's profile has a 'Taste-o-Meter' which gives a rating of how compatible the user's music taste is.

Artist pages

Artist pages
																Artist pages on Last.fm. (via last.fm)

Once an artist has had a track or tracks "scrobbled" by at least one user, Last.fm automatically generates the main artist page.

This page shows details of the total number of plays, the total number of listeners, the most popular weekly and overall tracks, the top weekly listeners, a list of similar artists, most popular tags, and a shoutbox for messages.

There are also links to events, additional album and individual track pages and similar artists radio. Official music videos and other videos imported from YouTube may also be viewed on the relevant artist and track pages.

Last.fm currently cannot disambiguate artists with the same name; a single artist profile is shared between valid artists with the same name. Also Last.fm and its users currently do not differentiate between the Composer and the Artist of music which serves for confusion in classical music genres.

Charts

Charts
																Charts on Last.fm. (via last.fm)

One particular feature of Last.fm is the semi-automatic weekly generation and archiving of detailed personal music charts and statistics which are created as part of its profile building. Users have several different charts available, including Top Artists, Top Tracks, and Top Albums.

Recommendations

Last.fm features a personal recommendations page that is only visible to the user concerned and lists suggested new music and events, all tailored to the user's preferences.

Recommendations are calculated using a collaborative filtering algorithm so users can browse and hear previews of a list of artists not listed on their profile but which appear on those of others with similar musical tastes.

READ ONE24H.COM ON THE OTHER PLATFORMS

WATCH ON watch on youtube READ ON read on facebook