Last.FM has secured content from independent aggregator the Orchard, which coupled with deals with EMI and WMG go a long way to putting one of the final pieces of Last.FM’s jigsaw in place.
However, Last.FM won’t be hoping to use the Orchard to harvest any Apple market share (sorry that was really tenuous). Instead they aim to consolidate their occupation of an entirely distinct place in the digital music ecosystem. Last.FM is a complement to premium download services and combines key elements of discovery, radio and social networks. The missing piece had always been broad content for the radio services.
Along with the likes of Pandora, Qtrax and Spiral Frog, Last.FM represents a subtle but seismic shift in the tectonic plates of digital music, with consumption trumping spending as the key strategy for targeting young online music fans.
We’ll be publishing a landmark report on this topic very soon. Watch this space for more details.