Last.fm

Robert Cookson

LumiTwo of the three founders of Last.fm, the original Silicon Roundabout success story, have arrived back on the London tech scene to launch a new service that helps people discover popular web pages.

Felix Miller and Martin Stiksel, who sold their music “scrobbling” service Last.fm to CBS in $280m in 2007, announced their new venture Lumi in a blog post on Tuesday. Read more >>

Tim Bradshaw

The music industry has taken another beating in the blogosphere over the last 24 hours after the head of Warner Music lashed out against online music streaming services such as Spotify and We7.

“Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry, and, as far as Warner Music is concerned, will not be licensed,” Edgar Bronfman Jr, Warner Music’s chairman, said on the major label’s analyst call yesterday.

“The sort of ‘Get all of the music you want for free and then, with a few bells and whistles, maybe we can move you to a premium price’ strategy is not the kind of approach to business we’ll be supporting in the future.” Read more >>

David Gelles

  • Digital Sky Technologies, the Russian internet group that has invested $200m in Facebook, will purchase up to $100m in common stock from existing shareholders in the social network. The deal clarifies Facebook’s valuation, giving its common stock a value of about $6.5bn. This is higher than the rumoured valuations last autumn when a similar deal was considered, but lower than the value of Facebook’s preferred stock.
  • Microsoft escalated its battle with arch rival Google, reacting to an assault on one of its core businesses with the announcement of a free online version of its widely used Office software, to be launched next year. While likely to take only a small bite out of Office revenues in the short term, the move represents one of the most radical steps yet by Microsoft as it tries to refocus its software business around the internet, according to analysts.

 Read more >>

Tim Bradshaw

“It’s a bummer.”

That’s how Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, described the departure of Last.fm’s three founders, Martin Stiksel, Felix Miller and Richard Jones.

CBS paid $280m in 2007 for Last.fm, an online music service and community now used by over 37m people a month. It remains one of the UK’s biggest buyouts in the web 2.0 era and Last.fm is still a fixture of London’s Silicon Roundabout.

Yet Mr Smith was magnanimous as three darlings of the web scene left CBS Interactive, which as a whole generated revenues of over $600m last year. Read more >>