Social music site last.fm has announced an agreement that will enable us to listen to streamed tracks online for free. The company has done what Pandora recently failed to and struck a deal with the big four record companies – EMI, Warner, Universal and Sony BMG (colloquially known as Big Mean Germans).
Listeners will be able to play a track three times before being asked whether they’d like to pay to download it. Last.fm says the service will be paid for by advertising on the website and in the audio stream – which could, of course, be incredibly annoying. They’ll have to play it carefully, but could this finally be a way for everyone to get something out of digital music?
(Image: from aloshbennett’s flickr stream)