Today, Last.fm was acquired by CBS, a company who had the first commercial radio station in the US, ran a record label (CBS Records), and amongst other things are responsible for several respected TV series (CBS on Wikipedia).
The team here have spent a lot of time this year discussing what the future should hold for Last.fm, and while contemplating raising some additional venture capital we were approached by CBS. As you can imagine, we have been approached numerous times in the past few years from all the usual suspects regarding acquisitions and so on; CBS are one of the few companies who needed no explanation of what we are doing, and we were impressed at how progressive their plans are. This deal with CBS gives us a chance to really make Last.fm shine, and gives us more flexibility than other funding options would for doing all the crazy stuff we’ve had scribbled on whiteboards for years.
CBS understands the Last.fm vision, the importance we place on putting the listener in charge, the vibrant and vocal community, the obsession with music stats, and our determination to offer every song ever recorded.
I’ll try and answer all (reasonable!) questions regarding the deal and what it means for Last.fm. Here are some miscellaneous thoughts upfront:
- The Last.fm team stays put in London, we’ll grow the company some more here.
- We will continue to execute our world domination plans – our focus is still music and the surrounding ecosystem. The founders (myself included) are still at the helm.
- We have more resources at our disposal now, and more clout when it comes to negotiating licensing deals etc.
- OH NOES UR SELLIN MY SCROBBLES!!1!! — Don’t panic. The openness of our platform and our approach to privacy won’t change.
There is quite a sense of achievement at Last.fm HQ today, we see this is as a huge boost for Last.fm and we are confident that together with CBS we have the wherewithall to change the music industry, and way people interact with music for good. Now we are all going for a slap up vietnamese lunch at the Viet Hoa. We’ll be back in an hour to finish off our facebook app :)