NEW YORK Following last week's deals with a number of social Web sites, CBS on Wednesday acquired Last.fm, a global, community-based music network, for $280 million in cash.
With more than 15 million users in 200 countries, Last.fm facilitates a community where its users can learn, discover and share music globally.
"[Last.fm's] demographics play perfectly to CBS' goal to attract younger viewers and listeners across our businesses," said Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS. "Last.fm adds a terrific interactive extension to all of our properties and also is a huge step in CBS' overall strategy of expanding our reach online to transition from a content company into an audience company."
The new online network will continue to be run independently by its founders, Felix Miller, Martin Stiksel and Richard Jones. Last.fm will also work with all relevant CBS divisions to apply their community-building and technology expertise to extend CBS businesses online and within the mobile space.
One obvious synergy CBS plans to explore is between Last.fm and the CBS Radio division. "Music has the unique ability to unite large groups of people and engage them around a shared passion. CBS Radio has given us a powerful way to create such communities for decades. With Last.fm, we're adding a next-generation platform to allow audience to communicate with us and each other as never before," Moonves said.
Last.fm was founded in 2002. It uses a unique technology to develop a profile of each user's music tastes and leverages each user's song list to make highly personal recommendations, connect users with similar tastes, and provide custom radio streams and other music-related community features. The site also has a listing of more than 200,000 festival and musical events.