Next Monday, Last.fm will start charging users for the privilege of listening to music from their service. I, like many, am not willing to pay for this. Nevertheless, I think I’ve found a way to keep, at least, part of the free online radio. It’s very simple.
Only play royalty free music.
I’m sure many artists only want the exposure and are willing to let Last.fm play their music for free. Jamendo and Magnatune, for example would probably be interested in this. Last.fm would only have to implement a system where the artist selects, or not, this option. All the other things that make the service good will keep existing, but for the free users, instead of playing every available artist, it would select only those from the royalty free list. I could live with this, could you?