CBS RADIO, the CBS Corporation division consisting of 140 major market radio stations, and Last.fm, the CBS-owned music and social networking Web site, today announced a strategic partnership designed to expand the reach of each. In so doing, they will enhance the content and features available on their sites, and open the door to cross-promotional opportunities throughout their respective platforms.
The announcement was made jointly today by Dan Mason, President and CEO, CBS RADIO, and Felix Miller, CEO and Co-Founder, Last.fm.
Under this agreement, CBS RADIO will provide streaming of all its stations to Last.fm's U.S. audience, including top market properties like New York's WCBS-FM, Los Angeles' KROQ, Chicago's WXRT and Atlanta's WVEE. Through CBS RADIO's new online player to be launched this Spring, users of Last.fm will be able to stream any of the over-the-air stations at any time. This follows CBS RADIO's recent agreement with AOL, which allows AOL listeners access to CBS over-the-air and Internet stations through CBS RADIO's new player, and is similar to Last.fm's recent partnership with the BBC's digital radio stations.
At the same time, audiences will also be able to seamlessly shift from streaming their favorite CBS RADIO station, to Last.fm where they can play individual songs for free, essentially giving listeners the ability to listen to every song played on the CBS RADIO Internet network again.
"This is an inventive way for CBS RADIO to expand its streaming campaign by adding another tremendous distribution platform," said Mason. "Streaming our stations on Last.fm exposes our incredible portfolio of brands, talent and content to a large, growing audience, while at the same time providing additional value to all our advertisers. We're very pleased to work with Felix and our friends at Last.fm on this new partnership."
"This is the first of what we hope to be many collaborations between CBS RADIO and Last.fm," said Miller. "The content and distribution power between these brands is incredible, and we're tapping into that strength to greatly expand our digital footprints while significantly improving the user experience on all our platforms. It's a win-win situation for everyone, most importantly the user who now has more ways to listen to their favorite music and stations."
A staggered rollout of CBS RADIO's streams to Last.fm is currently underway and includes all genres, including rock, pop, country, news, talk and sports stations, among others. The full online version of the stations will be streamed, providing Web-based advertisers additional exposure to Last.fm's growing U.S. audience.
About CBS RADIO
CBS RADIO is one of the largest major-market operators in the United States with stations covering news, sports, alternative rock, oldies, country, talk, classic rock, JACK and urban formats, among others. A division of CBS Corporation, CBS RADIO operates 140 radio stations, all but one of which are in the nation's top 50 markets. CBS RADIO also has made aggressive moves to converge new and traditional media through creative programming and advanced delivery methods, including online streaming, HD Radio, mobile messaging and podcasting. Audio streams of more than 143 CBS RADIO stations and custom channels are currently available online, and more than two thirds of the Company's stations are broadcasting in HD digital radio. Additionally, CBS RADIO is home to 27 of the country's leading sports franchises amongst MLB, the NFL, the NBA, the WNBA and the NHL, including the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Chicago Bears and the Detroit Red Wings. For more information on CBS RADIO, please visit www.cbsradio.com.
Founded in 2002, Last.fm is the largest global free music platform on the Web. Last.fm can offer music fans millions of tracks in every genre for free-on-demand streaming thanks to partnerships with Universal, EMI, Warner Music Group and Sony BMG, independent aggregators The Orchard, CD Baby and IODA, and more than 150,000 independent artists and labels — without the need to sign up or download any software. As well as being able to access tracks for free — a service which has seen Last.fm become the fastest-growing free online music network in the U.S. — music fans can also share their music preferences by linking their media player to the Last.fm database. As a result, Last.fm can intelligently recommend songs, artists, local concerts and even other members based on their musical tastes. Last.fm also supports unsigned artists by offering them an unprecedented Artist Royalty program through which they can earn revenue directly from Last.fm every time their music is streamed. Learn more about Last.fm at www.last.fm.