Six months ago my last.fm subscription ran out just after they had stopped being a feisty London-based indie start-up and jumped into the pocket of media giant CBS. My concerns then had a lot to do with the rather depressing thought that nobody seems to want to try and make a go of it on their own - that every start-ups ambition is nothing more than to be hoovered into one of the Internet conglomerates - it's all still true and still rather depressing...[1] [2] [3] etc.

But despite that I bought myself a xmas pressie of a 12 month sub to last.fm not because I missed being a subscriber after all the benefits of subscription are pretty minor...

  • No ads - I haven't seen an ad on last.fm in the six months I've been unsubscribed thanks to Adblock
  • Personalised radio - While I'm more inclined to listen to last.fm radio than almost any other radio station I've been happy enough with the limited access I've had for free.
  • Who’s visiting? is a nice little bonus but hardly a clincher especially given that almost no one vistis my profile...
  • Red carpet treatment (priority server access) - I can't say I've ever really noticed any server access problems enough to make me dig in my pocket to improve things
  • Top secret beta access - I think I can manage without bleeding edge perks.

No...the reason I subscribed is because last.fm is good and, like Flickr, ultimately I'm happy to put a few quid in the coffers of something that I really like.

And despite what Russ from last.fm said in a comment to my post six months ago...


We want people to subscribe because of the features, not because they feel like they’re doing us a favour anyway

...I'm afraid that, while it may not be a "favour", its closer to that than to anything else.

Along with Flickr and Google (mail, reader, search etc.) last.fm is one of the very few sites that I visit every day - and that's why I got the urge to come back into the last.fm fold...