In today’s much-anticipated announcement, CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves revealed plans to make the company’s music acquisition, Last.fm, completely free for streaming music. CBS has done deals with all the major labels to make songs — and entire albums — available to stream for free. And you won’t even have to register. Alongside the stream will be a “tiny” targeted video/rich media ad with its audio defaulted off. You can listen to the same song three times before you’re asked to purchase it through affiliates iTunes, Amazon, or 7Digital. As part of the deal, the artist gets paid for each stream with a revenue share of the advertising. I think they’ll build quite a large audience very quickly, especially if/when they promote this new free service on CBS. As you know, there’s something very powerful about “free.”
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