In October, CBS will begin integrating Last.fm into its broadcast radio offerings when it launches an all new station to be broadcast on CBS RADIO’s HD multicast stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco and streamed online. CBS says its the first time a music website has been transformed into its own broadcast entity.
“Last.fm’s newest initiative is a novel way for the CBS Interactive Music Group to exercise its radio programming knowledge with a fresh and innovative approach,” said David Goodman, President, CBS Interactive Music Group. “Last.fm has a large and loyal following both here and abroad, and we’re thrilled to be taking this step to expose additional listeners to the world class service.”
The new Last.fm station will feature an eclectic mix of music aggregated and influenced by the service’s user-generated weekly charts, combined with live performances and interviews from the Last.fm studios in New York, and event updates. The new station will expose audiences to underground, breaking and established artists and songs popular with Last.fm’s more than 25 million monthly users.
Last.fm is a social music streaming service where listeners can build stations and recommend them to friends. The music played on this new station will be influenced by what people are listening to on their personalized stations on Last.fm.
Why not? This is an idea that works for a bunch of reasons. Last.fm is a popular music site with a large online following – so why not extend its reach onto another platform such as HD. It makes Last.fm a bigger brand. CBS has the channels, and has made the investment in the HD technology, so this gives them a great source of hot new programming while branding their premier online station Last.fm with a new group of listeners.
I’m not a big believer in HD Radio as much more than a way to diversify over the air programming. (Ultimately, I don’t think it grows radio’s audience.) But broadcasters like CBS are already in pretty deep with the technology, so kudos to Goodman and CBS for coming up with some hip creative programming that highlights all that CBS has to offer.