Last.fm To Add “Play Direct” Indie Artist Program
10 days ago Last.fm dropped single track streaming pushing it off to scrobbling partners like MOG, Spotify and Hype Machine. Among those most impacted and vocally upset we're indie artists who had been gaining fans who used Last.fm as a music discovery platform. Music fans who wanted to know what Band XYZ sounded like could easily check out a full track on Last.fm and scrobble it straight onto their playlist. Not any more.
But Last.fm has a solution coming to help out indie artists... to a point. Unsigned artists who hold global rights to their music will soon be able to upload and offer full track streaming from their Last.fm pages. The feature will labeled as “Play direct from artist”, and the plays will scrobble via a new player. But as with Last.fm's former full-length preview option, these plays are considered promotional and don’t accrue royalties from their Artist Royalty Programme. Plays on Last.fm radio will continue to earn royalties.
"We hope this helps close the scrobbling loop for artists who can’t easily get exposure for their music on other services," sai?d Last.fm on their blog. Of course not getting paid won't help the artists pay the rent or for any of the other things they need to keep making the music that Last.fm profits from. But that's not their problem, is it?