CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) has acquired Last.fm, a global, community-based, music discovery network, it was announced today by Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation. CBS purchased the property which is one of the largest social platforms online for $280 million in cash. Last.fm currently has more than 15 million active users in more than 200 countries. This acquisition follows a number of CBS Interactive announcements including the purchase of Wallstrip.com, investments in Joost and Spot Runner and the recent expansion of the CBS Audience Network to include a total of 25 online partners.
"Last.fm is one of the most well established, fastest growing online community networks out there," said Moonves. "They have a great management team that understands how to build an engaged and passionate community where users learn, discover and share music globally. Their demographics also play perfectly to CBS’s goal to attract younger viewers and listeners across our businesses. Last.fm adds a terrific interactive extension to all of our properties and also is a huge step in CBS Corporation’s overall strategy of expanding our reach online to transition from a content company into an audience company."
As part of the acquisition, the Last.fm team, including founders Felix Miller, Martin Stiksel and Richard Jones, will continue to independently run the online network. The Last.fm management team will work with all relevant CBS divisions to apply their community-building and technology expertise to extend CBS businesses online and within the mobile space.
"We looked at a lot of companies to provide a base for CBS's investment in online reach, and found Last.fm to be poised at an inflection point - balancing fast growth, a sticky community and the opportunity for monetization that does not distract the user," said Quincy Smith, President, CBS Interactive.
Added Moonves, "Music has the unique ability to unite large groups of people and engage them around a shared passion. Part of our interactive strategy has been to build communities around all of our properties. CBS Radio has given us a powerful way to create such communities for decades, and it continues to do so. With Last.fm we're adding a next-generation platform to allow audiences to communicate with us and each other as never before."
Founded in 2002, Last.fm creates communities around music by bringing together listeners, artists and music. Through its unique "scrobbling" technology and social recommendation engine, Last.fm builds a comprehensive profile of each user’s musical taste and leverages each user’s song list to make highly personalized recommendations, connect users who share similar tastes, provide custom radio streams and other music related community features. In addition, the site has an "Events" listing that can recommend over 200,000 festival and music events globally.
Last.fm has a sizable global footprint spanning more than 200 countries with the largest concentration of users in the United States, Britain, Germany, Poland, Brazil, and Japan. Last.fm’s large and growing user base is predominately young, engaged and very involved on the site.
Last.fm has partnership arrangements with many major music labels and is dedicated to providing its service in compliance with its agreements with applicable rights holders.
Last.fm has received funding from Index Ventures as well as select individual investors such as Stefan Glaenzer, Reid Hoffman, and Joi Ito. To find out more about Last.fm, go to www.last.fm.
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and The CW – a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), cable television (Showtime and CSTV Networks), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Paramount Network Television and CBS Television Distribution), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), interactive media (CBS Interactive), music (CBS Records), licensing and merchandising (CBS Consumer Products) and video/ DVD (CBS Home Entertainment). For more information, log on to www.cbscorporation.com.