Last.fm, on Eve of Retreat Behind Paywall, Looks Back on 10 Years of User Listening Habits

Last.fm, a social Internet radio service that launched in 2002 and is now part of CBS Interactive, will convert is desktop client to purely to a subscription model in mid-January and close it in most non-English speaking countries, the company said.

Users in the United States, the U.K. and Germany, will have to subscribe to acess a made-over desktop client effective January 15, u. The Web service will continue to operate. The company will shut down its desktop and online service in all other countries besides Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Brazil, where it already charges for subscriptions.

“We are always looking at ways to bring music to more people, when it can be done so economically, and we hope to be able to open streaming to a wider audience in the future,” the company said.

On the eve of its retreat behind a paywall, the company published a timeline of 10 years of searches for particular bands. The timeline shows that events like band break-ups or deaths result in spiking searches (which the company calls “scrobbles”).

Since 2002, the most popular song search was Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” “Wonderwall” by Oasis, “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, “Come as You Are,” also by Nirvana, and “Clocks” by Coldplay followed.

Overall, the top artists were Coldplay, Radiohead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rihanna and Eminem.

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