• Michael Spencer

Soundings: Music Week publish weekly Last.fm music charts

By Ronna Porter.

I’ve been following in the news over the last few days that the European music market guide, Music Week, is relauching and will print the first ever online-music charts  generated by internet radio station Last.fm’s 20 million enthusiasts globally. Guardian journalist, Jemima Kiss, reports on the story and more intriguingly in this short podcast recognises that its significance is that these charts don’t directly reflect “what the music industry tells us we should listen to,” but what people chose to listen to – regardless if it is vintage Beatles or yet-to-be discovered newbies. A refreshing change, if you ask me.


Carrying on the ‘wisdom of crowds’ argument, blogger Friendly Ghost suggests that Last.fm’s successful ‘listener-selection’ business model is leaving competitor Pandora standing:

“In one respect Pandora is beautifully elegant. It approaches ’social radio’ through the music and is almost uncanny in the way it brings up musical suggestions similar to those friends’ compilations made on chrome tapes in the 80s (yes, I am that old). In another, however, it is ugly. It relies on musically astute contributors to identify musical DNA in what I would describe as an extended exercise in folksonomy. So whereas you just kick-start Last.fm and let it chug away with its Amazon-like referential algorithms, Pandora will always involve considerable manual effort.”

Oh yes. And Pandora is now only licensed to ‘broadcast’ in the US.  I agree with Friendly Ghost who is also London-based – particularly in light of Pandora’s recent launch of what looks like a great Facebook application for sharing music – “How sad.”

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