Last.fm to nix free streaming to mobile, other devices

CBS-owned Last.fm announced on Monday that it will soon discontinue its free ad-supported streaming music service for cell phones and home entertainment devices. Last.fm is a custom Internet radio service that competes with the likes of Pandora and Slacker Radio. The service currently streams to computers, to cell phones and to various home entertainment devices such as DVD players and set-top boxes, with two available subscription models — a free ad-supported version and an ad-free version for $3 per month. As of February 15th, free streaming to mobile devices and to home entertainment devices will be shut off, with the exception of Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7 devices, and only paid subscribers will be able to utilize the service. Delivering ad-supported streaming services to mobile and other non-PC devices is not practical, Last.fm stated in a blog post, so the company will no longer offer the option. Free ad-supported streaming to Last.fm’s website will remain, however, as will free streaming to the Last.fm desktop PC app. The shift in strategy now creates a new speed bump for the service, as Last.fm’s biggest competitors will continue to offer free streaming options for mobile and other devices.

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