Thursday, March 26, 2009

Goodbye, last.fm!

After 2.5 years of using last.fm constantly and advocating for it, basically doing free advertising for it to all of my friends, the last.fm staff just took their worst decision ever.

It cost them a bunch of members, including myself.

I used to be "LLRnR" on last.fm. Not any more.

In order to keep providing the best radio service on the web, we need to ask our listeners from countries other than USA, UK and Germany to subscribe for €3.00 per month. In return you’ll get unlimited access to Last.fm Radio, and a promise that we’ll be hard at work improving the service for years to come.
Yes, you guessed it right, I don't live in either of those 3 privileged and Arian places. So I got pissed off. NOT at the fact that I would be required to pay in order to use the radio stations feature, but at the way the author of this post, who is last.fm staff and who reflects last.fm's official views upon its user base, treats -- no, I mean disregards -- people living in the "wrong countries".

I'm not as absurd as some of the folks commenting on the blog entry proved to be -- I know that people in the "wrong countries" are not paying for the ones in the privileged places to listen to the radio stations. This supposition would turn out as false for anyone having the decency of taking a second look at the problem.

My frustration emerges from many other "details":
  • After being a loyal user who involuntarily beta tested the website and the player, now I'm getting a kick in the butt.
  • After being a loyal user who provided feedback, now I'm getting a kick in the butt.
  • After being a loyal user, I'm getting this announcement via a damned blog entry! Hellooooo last.fm staff! it's not as if I'd subscribe to the feed of any blog of any site I own an account on!
  • After being a loyal user, I could have at least gotten this announcement on-site, in the user dashboard, not on the blog; or a private message; or an e-mail. They can do that when they want to.
  • The news was posted only 5 days before it is to take effect.
  • After helping out on the site -- improving wiki entries, submitting photos, adding videos etc. -- now I'm getting a kick in the butt.
  • After allowing last.fm and audioscrobbler to gather my personal data -- listening habits, personal preferences, this kind of stuff --, after they've used me in order to improve their recommendations system and after I've contributed in my way to their building of a lot of radio stations, I'm now disregarded, getting a kick in the butt and being asked to pay for the things that I helped them build!!
On top of all that, I'm being basically asked to pay some sort of penalty for the fact that I'm not Arian enough to be a user from a country which supports its streaming from ads income.

So, if last.fm is mocking me, then my only option is to screw them and go elsewhere! I deleted my account. And it seems I was not the only one if I was to draw a conclusion from the comments on that article.

I agree no other similar service is as neat as last.fm was, but I can live with it.

As a user, I have my principles.

I can listen to radio stations for free on Deezer or GrooveShark, to only name 2 such free services.

Anyhow, this was a huge disappointment.


As a final note, I know that my way of "protest" is ineffective. I'm sure they did their Maths right and they must have reached a conclusion along the lines of "Even if 95% of our users stop using last.fm and the remaining 5% will either renew their subscriptions, either purchase them, as we are asking, we will
still get our profits".

I'm sure they are actually relieved at the fact that they now have a user less - charts, recommendations a.s.o. to be generated for one less user since I deleted my account. However, it's the only position I can take because it's the only way I could have made my protest and my frustration visible.


The only thing I can hope for is that all actual or former last.fm users who feel offended or who feel this crap management decision is not fair will somehow show solidarity and the last.fm guys will record the largest number of deleted accounts over a very short period.


One thing they could have done was to at least provide a text field that was optional to fill in when pushing the "Delete my account!" button. But then again, they really don't give a shit on their users' feedback. So they don't need such a button.

The hell with you, last.fm!


Disclaimer: The hand in the image above is not mine, mkay? I just added the text on the pic. I googled for "middle finger" on images.google.com.

3 comments:

  1. That's my girl!
    Alex's mother

    ReplyDelete
  2. i dint use these things but still think they should be shot till almost death and then maybe kicked abit :) The one and only Kenneth :D

    ReplyDelete