Last.fm More Popular Than Ever
I have admittedly been a late comer to last.fm, but lately, I’ve found myself using it more than I ever thought I would. I’m not sure if it’s the new interface or that I finally figured out what value it might bring to my music-listening experience.
I haven’t started using the social aspects of last.fm yet, but it been useful simply as a way of capturing what I listen to and suggesting other stuff I might like. Last.fm, through scrobbler applications on various platforms, including the Mac and Nokia S60 applications, are able to send to last.fm the music you listen to so it can suggest other things you might like later on.
The last.fm application on the Mac as well as the mobbler application on S60 both provide a sort of “streaming radio station” of sorts. I can set it on auto-pilot on an artist, song, or based on past listens, and get a half-way decent radio station out of the deal. Unlike, say, Pandora, I have a bit more control over what ends up in the station.
Apparently, I’m not the only one discovering last.fm as they are reporting higher usage numbers. Quoting the press release they sent:
According to the latest comScore Media Metrix report (July 2008, U.S. Data), Last.fm has experienced a 20% increase in unique visitors and a 36% increase in total minutes in the United States. Additionally, Last.fm saw a dramatic 208% year-over-year increase in total minutes spent on the site and a 62% increase in unique visitors, corresponding to a 90% increase in visitor engagement.
Whatever the reason for the increased usage, I’m sure CBS (owner of last.fm) is quite happy to see one of their media properties get more popular. Heck, I even see Nokia sponsoring some sort of Summer Festival Filter that lets you filter your music tastes against a number of upcoming music festivals to tell you who you should go see. Interesting, to say the least.
I hope that they add more “full” tracks to their library. That’s about the only thing that’s kind of a bummer on their service. They have a lot of tracks that you can play on-demand, some that don’t exist in their service, and others you get a 30 second sample of.
I suppose that’s what I like about last.fm though–more control over what I can listen to and lots of information about the song–or artist–that I am listening to. What about you?