Eish!!: South Africans set to pay for Last.fm streaming (along with most of the globe)

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South Africans set to pay for Last.fm streaming (along with most of the globe)

According to this post at Last.fm blog, South Africans along with the rest of the world's users not resident in the US, UK or Germany will have to pay €3.00 per month to stream the over 7 million tracks in the Last.fm catalogue from the 30th March 2009.
The vague post claims this is ' In order to keep providing the best radio service on the web.' While I have no reason to doubt that this is yet another case of the short-sighted record companies meddling with internet business cases, the truth is that these are countries where they have the capacity to best market for ad sales, their funding source. They utilise CBS Interactive in the US, are UK based and apparently have always had a string presence in Germany.

For someone who just last week began fully utilising this service and a total convert, this is extremely disappointing and the 685 comments and counting under the post announcing the news shows that I am not the only one.

Q&A for users outside the US, UK or Germany (Source http://blog.last.fm)

Q. When does this go into effect?
A: We are currently planning to switch to subscription radio outside the US, UK, and Germany on Monday, March 30.

Q. What happens if I’m already a subscriber, or I buy a subscription before March 30th?
A. Your subscription will continue to be valid and automatically gain Last.fm Radio functionality after the switch. Existing subscribers don’t need to change anything.

Q. Does this affect listening to previews or full length tracks?
A. No.

Q&A for users in the US, UK or Germany

Q. Will I be affected by the changes to Last.fm Radio?
A. No!

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While I don't think they plan to make tons of cash from South Africa, with our transfer rates and costs they probably won't get anything out of us (beyond basic membership anyway).

@Damien : I fully agree, which makes it even more of a pity, doesn't it?

Such a pity... Guess we'll have to turn to Myspace Music when we want to hear a band.

Never really used the listening feature anyway, to be honest, so not much a hassle for me (but only due to our data limitations, otherwise I'd download rather than stream anyway).

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