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New look for Pandora and new owners for Last.fm

Glad to see Pandora's all good in the UK with a shiny new interface...

...though when I tried to access it this morning in Copenhagen I got this depressing screen:

Pandora must be very excited by the news that Last.fm was sold to CBS last week for US $280 million.

The news about Last.fm coincided with some travel and a busy few days so I've not had a chance to comment on the good fortune of one of my favourite music services.

It's a smart move by CBS to say the least and brought to my mind Jeff Jarvis's strong commentary on how the company has a strategy of seeing the "audience as the network". That's just about the most far-sighted and clear articulation of strategy by a major media company that I've heard and makes CBS a company the rest of the industry worldwide would do well to keep an eye on...

My money's on CBS leaving Last.fm largely to its own devices. Although the audience reach for advertising is how the money men will have been kept quiet the real value in this deal lies in the opportunity to learn and analyse up close the lessons of building a major community.

I've got some lessons to pass on to y'all on that front myself when I get to writing up the notes from the Reboot9.0  session with Ted Rheingold of the vibrant Catster and Dogster communities... Just need to reacquaint myself with my family tomorrow and then they'll be right with you... :-)  

: : Incidentally, I love the way The Register manages to glean some gloom from a good news story:

The move underscores how big media companies are subsuming the most successful user-driven web ideas, leaving the me too 2.0 flotsam with long tail hot air and no access to advertising bounty.

Now that's how to work an angle... But the venerable online organ gets it nicely on the money when it notes:

CBS was the long-time owner of Columbia Records until it sold up in 1988. The label's now part of Sony BMG, a leading light in the Recording Industry Ass. of America, which in turn has led a crusade to bully internet radio stations into paying grossly inflated royalties. Funny how things come around..


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The Register has a rich, proud history of taking as negative a tone as possible on anything which involves individuals having power over their online environment and experience...and especially if the innovators who made it possible actually end up making any money for their efforts. I have to wonder what life experiences have led the editorial to take such a twisted perspective on such matters.

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