CBS’ purchase of Last.fm, described as a social music recommendation system, for $280 million is a fascinating extension of their audience network strategy. PaidContent boldfaced the key quote from Last.fm founder Martin Stiksel to the BBC: “They want to move from a content company to an audience company, giving the audiences control and learning from this and that’s why Last.fm was their choice.”
Last.fm combines the notion of content as functionality — as I publish my list of what I’m listening to, the act of consumption becomes an act of creation; we all become radio stations — and people as distribution: the audience as network.
I saw this firsthand watching Jake’s Last.fm ap spread on Facebook: viral meets viral. In two days, his ap got 15,000 users without promotion and it’s killing his server (which, by the way, is one weakness of the Facebook platform).
: See also the Last.fm blog:
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.