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last.fmLast week, Last.fm announced that they would soon start charging users that live outside the US, UK, and Germany about $4 USD per month to continue using the streaming radio features of its site. The announcement drew tons of feedback – much of it negative – both in our poll and on the Last.fm blog.
Today, Last.fm publicly responded to its users – first giving a more detailed explanation of why they’re implementing subscriptions internationally, and second, indicating that they’ll be delaying the move until a few much requested features are delivered to users.

Perhaps the most important addition that Last.fm plans before launch is alternative payment options, most notably, the option to pay via premium SMS. In other words, some users will be able to pay for their Last.fm subscription by simply sending a text message and having the fees added to their phone bill. While that hardly makes up for the fact that users have to pay in the first place, it will make the service accessible to those without a credit card or PayPal.

As soon as we’ve completed the upgrades noted above, we’ll move ahead with the transition. Thereafter, radio in the USA, UK and Germany will remain ad-supported, and radio in other countries where it’s not feasible to have an ad-supported service will be moving to a subscription service.