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After its 2007 acquisition, it doesn’t seem like CBS (NYSE: CBS) has been able to get the most from its $280 million Last.fm outlay. There’s been no TV scrobbling, no profit, the site’s key execs have left and fitting the trendy Silicon Roundabout, London, startup in to a U.S. megacorp appears to have been a challenge generally.
But now CBS has reined Last.fm in to its interactive music group, with direct oversight from president David Goodman. Speaking to me after we came off a panel at MediaGuardian’s Changing Media Summit on Thursday, the unit’s product VP Fred McIntyre offered some new insight…
“The subscription business drives about a quarter of Last.fm’s revenue.” It has paying subscribers in the “high tens of thousands”, McIntyre said – that’s way low compared with Spotify’s 320,000, gained after just a year and a bit.
“Our plan is to be profitable with Last.fm in 2010. We’re very bullish on the subscription service. We’ll be rolling out some new features around the subscription service in Q2. The U.S. is now a quarter of Last.fm’s overall audience.”
Expect upcoming announcements about incorporating Last.fm’s scrobbling feature, which notes users every track listen, on other sites. Last.fm has recently done this with Shazam and We7.