You Ruined Last.fm

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Whenever I find out that a site that I like or an application that I use was updated, I become eager to see the new features or the new interface - unfortunately though, that has not been the case with Last.fm.

Since I started using Last.fm in 2006 I saw very few updates to the site or to the mobile applications, and much to my dismay all the updates I've seen in the last few years were to remove features that I liked. The worst changes were these:

1. Replacement of the great music streaming service Last.fm had for YouTube videos - from this point on I stopped being a subscriber.
2. The mobile application, which although old and outdated had some useful things, like the events tab, was downgraded to a useless garbage that can't even show artists information on its own - it's accumulating one-star reviews (oh, and they deleted my review because I was telling people to do not downgrade to the "new" app, sigh...)
3. Now the site was downgraded as well: you can't post links and images to your profile, the compatibility bar is gone, groups are gone etc. I knew something like this was coming to the site when I saw the downgraded mobile app...

Last.fm team:

How come you came up with so many bad decisions? Is this some kind of conspiracy? Is there someone or some people on the team trying to sabotage the service? Do you guys really use Last.fm? After all, who else would make such decisions if not someone who wants to destroy Last.fm or someone who doesn't use it?

I understand that some features were not really being used and were mostly forgotten, like the groups. But wait, is this because these are unimportant features or because you never really gave a damn about them and they became too outdated to have any appeal for most users?

I waited for so long to see Last.fm site's features on the mobile apps... The site had so many things that could have been improved and that would have looked great on one updated mobile application! Why instead of spending resources mimicking Spotify's design and removing features didn't you try to bring the site's functionality to the mobile apps? That would have been the natural way to go, but instead of adding features to the mobile apps so it could be as useful as the site, you stripped the site of its features so it could be as useless as the apps - that's the most moronic way I've seen of making a mobile application get the same features as its site, but well... congratulations, you did it.

I guess now I finally lost my hopes of seeing Last.fm improving.

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Tom Carvalho

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  • sad, annoyed, unhappy, sorrowful, dejected, depressed, miserable, down, disconsolate, desolate, wretched, gloomy, mournful, heartbroken, inconsolable, blue... not red... blue.

Posted 4 years ago

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MarinasMusic

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Hi friends, please add your signature: "Remove the last.fm Beta Website Design" http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/lastfmbeta Many thanks! Marina
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Aura

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I see it tries to charge you money on this petition through your PayPale?
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Aura

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Thanks have signed.  is there another music streaming site similar to Last FM?
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Tom Carvalho

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Libre.fm is a free software alternative, but they still have a lot to improve.
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Aura

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How do you build your music library on there please?
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Tom Carvalho

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I assume it's similar to Last.fm, but I never tried it.
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vlgeller

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I tryed Libre.fm but it seems abandoned or just didn't work in my computer, it gave me error in all sections. Plus, you can't sync your Last.fm account to it because Libre.fm sends you to Last.fm for permissions. I'm trying AllMusic now, but not for streaming. It looks similar to Last.fm, but it's not the same  :(
I just wanna Last.fm has all the functions they had, not leaving to a new site.
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Donyvi

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Your premise that the old last.fm was working is false. It may have worked for many of its users (including me), but it was not working for last.fm. Their revenue has been steadily dropping. "The company reported pre-tax losses of £2.8m in 2009, just over £5m in 2010, £4.4m in 2011 and £3.9m in 2012," (The Guardian)

This is something they are doing to ensure the sites survival. They need more people to click ads in order to keep the site running. If you want last.fm to survive, you're going to have to accept more ads or start/keep subscribing.
(Edited)
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Tom Carvalho

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Wait, there's something wrong with your logic.

The site didn't work for them not because people simply didn't click ads or people didn't subscribe. It didn't work because they kept it outdated and they didn't improve their mobile applications: the only appeal to use Last.fm became the ability to scrobble songs. I don't need much data to guess that it was only natural then that:

1. Existing users that were not thrilled by creating a listening history forgot about the site;
2. Users who started to rely more and more on smartphones (which is a huge number of people) also forgot about the site;
3. If existing users forgot about the site, we can also assume that the rate at which new users subscribed even for a free account became very low;
4. All of the above leads to less revenue from ads and from paid subscriptions.

A service must be really good today to survive without a good mobile application counterpart and Last.fm failed to provide that.

Last.fm could have been the best and most popular streaming service today, it had a strong community, it had the love of many of its users, but they failed at implementing an strategy for that. Meanwhile we saw Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and other music streaming services thrive.

Even as a community Last.fm started to fail at some point, and it's reasonable to say that it was due to the fact that the site became outdated and there was no community-related features on their mobile apps.

It's not that Last.fm need people clicking on their ads and subscribing. They need to provide a good user experience so then people will click on their ads and pay to use their service.

I gave up on Last.fm. I will keep scrobbling because I really like to have a listening history, but now I will be constantly looking for alternatives and I will send feature requests to other music services that I use, like Google Play Music, to add user charts and the ability to import listening history so I can move from Last.fm.
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Donyvi

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You are definitely right! My formulation was very unfortunate and can't really be interpreted any other way. I don't mean that adding more ads is what is going to save last.fm. If you are interested, you can see more clearly what I mean in my thread: https://getsatisfaction.com/lastfm/topics/something-to-keep-in-mind-before-being-too-condemning
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Erik Qbaliqh

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Definitely Last.fm has been hemorrhaging financially for years.

The company absolutely had to do something to staunch the wounds.

But stripping away so much of what made its loyal users hang in with them without so much as 24 hrs notice is going to make their problem worse since many have already left, stopped scrobbling and cancelled subscriptions.

Many more are poised on the brink of joining them myself included.

If I were decison maker at Last.fm I would not gamble on the fact that what it has to offer in this new format will attract new users to replace the ones now jumping ship in droves.

I joined Last.fm when it was Audioscrobbler.net and have stuck with them through thick and thin. This is my fifth account and I never had cause to complain or ask for any improvement to be made since the last upgrade in 2008.

The old format had everything I wanted and more. The new format has nothing except a record of my scrobbles and very limited ways to explore new music and share discoveries with my friends. And that record was tampered with in the transition: I lost 452 scrobbles and 500 artists. These were scrobbled artists and tracks not duplicates or phantoms. This is appalling!

The features they have taken away or crippled in the beta site are what I was paying $36 per year for. It was money well-spent. I might have been willing to pay more if an increase had been proposed prior to this reckless decision to force this beta format down our throats.

I have already stopped scrobbling: as of Monday at 8 pm, twelves hours after my site went live with beta.

I am going to cancel my subscription as soon as I am able to do so.

I am seriously considering deleting my account too since it would seem that we are losing the ability to export our scrobbles. Keeping my account intact but dormant would be pointless. 

I am so heart-broken and disappointed at what Last.fm has done to us I no longer know if I can bear to stay. The silence from the staff members and company officials speaks volumes about how much they actually care for their existing users. This callous treatment has added insult to injury.

If I walk away I will never look back and never consider rejoining Last.fm again even if they do actually restore some of the features they claim are "under consideration and may be returning in a few weeks or months." They don't say what those are but I honestly doubt they will incorporate a single one.
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Donyvi

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@Erik Qbaliqh: "I am so heart-broken and disappointed at what Last.fm has done to us I no longer know if I can bear to stay. The silence from the staff members and company officials speaks volumes about how much they actually care for their existing users. This callous treatment has added insult to injury"

I agree.  The changes are of course disappointing for a long time user, but the silence from the staff on the major issues is what makes me truly despondent. I made a thread urging them to be more vocal. If you think it's of any use, please make a post there. https://getsatisfaction.com/lastfm/topics/request-some-official-presence-on-these-forums
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Svetlana Stričević

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sorry but you're awfully starting to sound like some burgeouasic thing from CBSi O.o
WHat wasn't working for them? Having more subscribers? More users? More artists and labels coming in?
They gained enough to live and advance the site. Revenue was dropping for such easy beliefable people like you at their cospiracy. 
What's purpose of the site if it's not working for users?

they aren't ensuring site survival, it's clear they ensure marketing and gaining everything they can now before absolute closing of site. 
Donyvi . you sound like you absolutely sold yourself to their stories.. feel sorry .. x.x
that;'s why nowdays only bad things stay because people easily belief lies and drop good things without fighting for them. sad.
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Donyvi

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You are so over-the-top belligerent that I'm not sure you are trolling me or not.
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Svetlana Stričević

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I am just stating facts. I am not belligerent. And I really feel sorry for those who aren;t taking seriously that this is just CBSi and their try to fill in pocket more.
If it doesn't success they'll just sell site for laughable lower price than it had been bought or just close.
As I stated before - I am not native english so maybe my choice of words are not in right and correct order, but if you understand your own language you should read what I wanted to say.

We need to be honest and not dellusional and flegmatic. that way you'll lose even more imprtant things if we stay indifferent to all metters trying to find pretence and excuse just to not support what is right.
(Edited)
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Whispered X (Spineshank155)

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This new design isn't going to bring in more revenue. It's going to really damage last.fm into a new myspace. I totally understand that last.fm is in a financial crisis but redesigning the site so there's less functionality/features is not a good way of solving their problems. They need to be focusing on getting people to subscribe. The last change they made, had people closing or not renewing their subscriptions. But instead of focusing on doing more features, they decided to redesign the site so people who have been using it for free or those who subscribe has lost a great deal. Yeah i never subscribed but i had considered it but this change has made me reconsider that. I won't subscribe and i probably won't stay unless they restore the original about me section and make improvements to the new site.

I don't know how much clearer to make it but you don't pull a stunt like what last.fm just did and expect to 'gain more revenue'. They are getting a huge hit and i'd say the ship is sinking down further and further because CBS has no clue how to revamp last.fm without the cost of losing their existing users.
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Frank Dosh

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Just because a site isn't commercially successful, does not mean it's usability is/was bad. Period.
(Edited)
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Dead Acolyte

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Well said dude, especially the last part, i agree with every word, indeed they stripped down the site to make it look like the USELESS garbage app they have.
It's incredible but this is exactly what they did........... fucking UNBELIEVABLE.
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Svetlana Stričević

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totally well said. You just forgot one more thing. They also succesfully start to gain people to believe  their 'poor state' and that 'they didn't know what to do to save finances' ...
Really we are now in such century where such lies still make pass to others...
Really feeling sad.
That's why nowdays BAD things always WIN over Good, because everyone so lightly believe to lies and drop out fighting for good things..
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Frank Dosh

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To be very honest...it feels so strange. I'm now fully aware of how last.fm used to be my favorite website until today. This is not the site and the concept that I've been enjoying since 2007 (on a frequent (!) level). Pure, utter COLD TURKEY is what I'm feeling.
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MetalHeadCrab

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I'm still trying to wrap my head around the whole "the site was redesigned to get more subscribers and generate more revenue".

Hey dudes, you wasted a bunch of money and resources fixing what wasn't broke. Before you started removing features from the website I was a subscriber and I had my ad-blocker disabled on last.fm.

Lol now the site looks like sheet so exactly who is going to subscribe?

@CBS Interactive wish you greedy basturds never bought last.fm. CBS is going to squeeze last.fm dry and throw it out when they're done with it. This has been progressively happening over the last 3 years.
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Whispered X (Spineshank155)

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Yeah before the redesign i had considered subscribing. Thanks to other users telling me it's not worth the money.. the new design is certainly NOT worth the money! Last.fm is not helping things by pushing out partially done layouts for the new site and they should be creating more functionality instead of removing it. The more functionality the site has, the more chance users will start subscribing to it. I'm just wondering why did it take last.fm so long to mention that they are losing revenue. It seems no one at last.fm/CBS has the common sense to realize that this redesign push is not helping things, but only making things worse.
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Donyvi

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"Hey dudes, you wasted a bunch of money and resources fixing what wasn't broke. Before you started removing features from the website I was a subscriber and I had my ad-blocker disabled on last.fm."

It was broken. It was losing money.
(Edited)
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Whispered X (Spineshank155)

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Last.fm is broken because they keep removing functionality. The beta site is the last nail in the coffin. It's the epitome of lost functionality and features. The idea is to bring in money, not lose it from redesigning the site. The site looks does not change or will change anything. If they want subscribers or revenue, they need to start holding onto the users that help keep the site running while bringing new people in!

What Last.fm is doing is only making things worse. Already i am not scrobbling, in a month i might be leaving last.fm if things do not improve starting with the about me section which 200 characters is a joke.
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MetalHeadCrab

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@Donyvi and this new update will earn them money how? Was something improved or added that I'm not aware of?
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telefon_anonim

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what fxcking broken on last fm is their marketing department... they had everything to involve new users and subscribers but all they've done is redesigned everything, seized functionality and then told themselves and us "OKAY NOW IT'S GONNA GET BETTER"

HALLO YOU LASTFM GUYS REDESIGNING ONLY DOESNT BRING TO MORE REVENUE!!!
if you had a good marketing department you would find a way to sell more and involve more users without turning a good product into SOME PIECE OF SHIT.
(Edited)
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Andreas von B

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that useless 'loved by friends' page appears to be gone now anyway, but, being not a developer myself, i still can picture adding a shoutbox to each song being 'loved' wouldn't have been of muchly complicated or costly thing to do, but had added so much more of interactivity between friends, given the chance to discuss a song in familiar circles other than just shouting to the world on the global song page.
Maybe not a step out of their dirt, but a huge step towards facebook and catching up with the poor options of socialising Last.fm offered, compared, poor even before this terrible beta disaster, nonexistant as of now.
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PPNSteve

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"It was broken. It was losing money."

Losing money != broken.

Many popular websites COST money to run.. and most never break even yet you don't see them sabotage their site by downgrading services offered or alienating their users (well most anyway).
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Dead Acolyte

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Fuck you CBS, i just deleted my account here (it became useless now)  and i will avoid eveything these morons touch like the plague in the future.
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roldki

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I still think it's better to wait until most features are restored before condemning the whole site, although I do agree that it was a REALLY bad idea to force an unfinished beta on us.
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Whispered X (Spineshank155)

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It's these moves that is clearly causing problems at last.fm and it's not helping that they forced an unfinished beta where the new site looks nothing like the old one and there's less functionality. Too many changes is freaking people out and that is what is causing last.fm users to condemn the whole site because there is just so much missing functionality. Had they not released this beta site, they could have continued working on it to make it better but again, this was rushed and mainly the about me has been messed up and now i think i lost everything i had.. so despite the lack of functionality i am just not going to use the site until they fix it or i'll simply leave. There is really no excuse for this and i hope that last.fm/cbs will finally figure it out that they are doing things wrong! They need to bring back the old last.fm add some more functionality to it and encourage people to subscribe, they need to provide more incentives to do so! But i wonder if they plan on doing any of that or they are going to continue doing what they are doing which is not a good move for last.fm and this site has been declining for quite a long time. The beta site is the last nail in the coffin for me and i hate to leave the site but since they are not listening to feedback i don't think i really have much of a choice. I look forward to see what other sites will become, since last.fm no longer is a good place to scrobble music.
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MetalHeadCrab

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All of last.fm's competition offers a mobile app for streaming radio. At least 50% of my music listening happens in the car and I bet there's a ton of last.fm users that can say the same thing. A radio player app is essential if you want to compete! Last.fm is the only place to find any obscure/underground artist. You have an advantage and can do so much better than the other music services out there. Instead last.fm has ceded to crappy services like Pandora and Spotify. You may as well shut the whole thing down now and save us all time and frustration.
(Edited)
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Ingrid

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I'm sad to see my beloved flag counter is gone. So you know how long I've been saving that thing for? Every morning I wake up excited to see a new flag hit my last fm page and now it's gone. How depressing.
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Ingrid

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If you bring back the 'about mes' then it wouldn't be so bad
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Arminiator

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Have the admins already copped out of this? So many threads and questions unanswered. Cowards! Or maybe the last employee has already left the building for good. LAST.FM/CBS, you have (deilberately?) ruined this! Your old, loyal fanbase will leave, and the ship is already sinking. Been on the site since 2006 on a daily basis, scrobbled more than 220,000 tracks. But that relaunch has left all real music lovers here with NOTHING. Thank you so much!!! I'm still so furious I could cry.
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orangeclouds

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Yes. Why are there no responses to some of these major issues (not being able to scrobble at all for the past week?)
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Susanna Bloderer

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I actually believe that they HAVE deliberately ruined this for no real reason. Maybe because it wasn't profitable enough? I just cannot believe they would troll like that. Just disappear and let the new layout be self-explanatory.

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