I've generally stopped making new investments other than in particularly exceptional situations. However, last.fm is one of those exceptions and I wanted to let you know that I invested together with Reid Hoffman, CEO of LinkedIn and Stefan Glänzer, CEO of 20six Weblog Services AG in the UK in October. It is the first time I've invested in this trilateral formation, but with the company in the UK, a lot of potential partners in the US and a big market in Japan, this team seems to make sense. Apologies for the late announcement, but we've been working on some deals that made it difficult for me to talk about our investment publicly. I wrote about the first in 2004 and later in 2005 after they did the redesign. I'm really happy that after working with them for years now, our relationship is now more formal and aligned. Please see the links above or go to their site for more information about the service.

23 Comments

Interesting group of investors. Great news for last.fm.

Hey Joi - Interesting. Glad you're into last.fm - hell, I wrote about them back in July 2003 - http://radio.weblogs.com/0108247/2003/07/07.html#a405 - it was interesting to go back and read my quick impressions... good luck with this - i'd like to see great things!

hmmm - I hope the deals are good ones. Last.fm is an incredible business and has HUGE potential for the music industry.

I'm totally gobsmacked that MTV and/or someone like it hasn't already approached them to license their platform or buy them out - or have they!? ;)

There is much business to be done for them Joi - lots of catchup...

last.fm is an interesting investment. The potential is definately there and they have done a very good job at putting the site together. Good luck with the investment.

Quite interesting. I recently read an article comparing the services of last.fm and pandora music genome project.
Both are what we call "web 2.0" services, but with completely different "attitudes" to how to go about it.

Either way, a solid investment. I've been using last.fm since the first audiograbber plugin came out, and though I've also tested (and even helped out) the Pandora service, for now I can't really say which service will reach the most success.

In any case, good luck.

Good luck with it, Joi. When are we seeing you again in Europe? =)

I want Joi's "Listening" script. The web services that last.fm is currently offering are a good start but not really what I want.

Smittie

Smittie, the script we use here in the sidebar is Ado's. It's a Perl script which you run via a cron job and it caches your recently played feed locally and parses it into html which you can then include with a PHP include. Both Ado and I run it as well.

Joi, great! Glad to hear this.

Last.fm is a great site. Not perfect, but certainly the potential is there. I've been using it for a few months and enjoy it thoroughly. Good luck, onward and upward!

I've been with them since oct 2004 and love their product. Shame they took the little crown away from supporters :(

My web host is www.hostexcellence.com. I don't see a way to run a crontab. Anyone know of a decent alternative to Ado's script?

Mahalo

Great news for great project. When they go public? I would like to buy some shares.

Hi Joi, I have recently seen your speech at Aula in Helsinki about the Future of Music dating back to October 2004. Interesting that it took last.fm so long to become attractive to investors like you and your co-angels.

I like the idea of last.fm and will check out the service soon a bit more.

I also like your approach of using the applications yourself for a long time before you investing in some of them.

Smart digital lifestyle investment strategy: Very early adopter = evangelist = investor.

just heard they have never paid the ifpa one dollar for the millions of streams they've pushed. surprised they've been allowed to get away so long without payment. guess the money will go to paying off these guys. good luck!

joi, this is very good news - you asked me check this out last year after I saw you, and I think they're brilliant. I like every facet of the package - but I guess this means you won't need me anymore... *sniff*

At least I can find some solace in that latest "Listening" playlist. ;-D

recently we had a interesting discusion about in which market some projects are. For example, is last.fm project in finacial market or its music project ?
Joi invested his money and i can see some people are talking about shares, Some labels, as our really looking to get some exposure through the service.... and service is built around people as we, who spend time in uploading, comunicating and giving their music to listeners, and then at the bottom line what will happen when some investor makes money on it? do musicians or labels get some money out of the difference between money invested and shares sold. couse we was also part of the financial performance of investors money....
not bleming not shaming, just discussing new economy as economist, who love the music. and raving about finacial market as a Msc in finance and invesment

congrats, I wish I would be in as well...

So after reading this I checked out last.fm Tried it, love it, bought a 6 month subscription. Can't reccomend it more to anyone who was thinking about it. Cheers!

Congratulations and good luck with this investment.

Last.fm is a great idea, but the overall idea is not entirely new. This is because I remember yahoo! Doing a similar thing many years ago. In fact, that service is still running. Last.Fm has obviously just added the social media side to it – which is a great idea. Still, for people like me in South Africa, bandwidth is expensive. To stream music can turn out to be very expensive for us, and so we can't really use these kinds of services. We can't even get iTunes here in this country, can you believe it? I love this country, but the online awareness is just not good.

Last.fm is a great idea, but the overall idea is not entirely new. This is because I remember yahoo! Doing a similar thing many years ago. In fact, that service is still running. Last.Fm has obviously just added the social media side to it – which is a great idea. Still, for people like me in South Africa, bandwidth is expensive. To stream music can turn out to be very expensive for us, and so we can't really use these kinds of services. We can't even get iTunes here in this country, can you believe it? I love this country, but the online awareness is just not good.

The secret to successful ventures is when you invest on a great business. You already have that. As an added bonus, you have great people working with you.

I can agree to that lastfm ist popular cause of the good marketing and partners.

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TrackBack URL for this entry: http://joi.ito.com/MT-4.35-en/mt-tb.cgi/3964

I love my music. I don’t have much come to find out. But, what I do have… I like. A lot! So, when I saw over at Joi Ito’s Web about his investment in Last.fm it just so happened at a time when my need for music was peaking. So, I hust... Read More

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March 13, 2006 1:25 AM

Last July, I signed up for Last.fm’s streaming radio service. I played around with it for a while but eventually left it alone, becasue I don’t like proprietary players. I see now, they have an iTunes plugin, although I’ve been unabl... Read More

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