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After its $280 million acquisition by CBS (NYSE: CBS) last year, London-based social music net Last.fm seems keen to please its new paymasters on American soil. A press release trumpeting its US growth rate last week and a high-profile panel appearance in Manhattan for all three founders tonight seem designed to show off the team to US advertisers and content owners – especially in light of CBS president Leslie Moonves’ recent remark: “The idea is now to advertise, to bring it more to the United States as well.”
Also today, Last.fm said 19 million people listen to its music through off-site widgets and third-party hacks (via release). That’s almost as many as the entire 21 million active monthly user base on the site itself. But then, Last.fm’s ads are visual, not audible, so that’s 19 million users who aren’t necessarily generating cash. The site unveiled a widget showcase today and plans to open more of itself to third-party developers this year.