Microsoft announced at their E3 keynote last month that Last.fm would be coming to Xbox Live. We're working on an interview with key players at both Last.fm and Microsoft to bring you more details about the collaboration soon. However, we can share one tidbit: today we spoke with Christina DeRosa, a general manager for XBL, and she let us know who the service will be available to.
"Silver users will be able access what we're considering a trial period of three hours a month, which comes with video advertising. Gold users will have unlimited ad-supported access, so they can use it 24 hours a day. There will also be a premium offering on a subscription basis from Last.fm, that will be commercial free and will also have more sophisticated personalization features, like Loved Tracks."
Last.fm's subscription prices are currently $3.00 US (€3 EU or £3 GBP) per month, so you'll have to shell out an additional $36 a year if you want to avoid the ads and have full access to their service. You'll also need a Last.fm account, in case you haven't set one up already. Luckily, that part is free.
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Report from Joystiq about Last.fm in an interview w/ Christina DeRosa.
"we spoke with Orlena Yeung, VP of Marketing at Last.fm (which was purchased by CBS two years ago for a big chunk of change), and Christina DeRosa, a general manager for Xbox Live, to find out how the experience will work on our consoles."
Question: Is the thought on Xbox's end that you will be able to access this while you are playing games, or will you only be able to experience it in the Dashboard?
You will be able to access it in the Dashboard. We are going to launch a music channel later this fall of which Last.fm is one of the premier partners we will be placing in the music channel. Basically you will be able to get quick and easy access from the music channel into Last.fm. But it will not run in the backgrounds of other Xbox Live activities, you need to be in the Last.fm application for it to run. So we are making sure the experience is very visually appealing and immersive, because it will be an experience that you stay in and listen to music.
Question: Will the service be available to all users or will you need a Gold account to access Last.fm?
The Silver users will be able to access what we are considering a trial of 3 hours a month of the Last.fm service, which comes with video advertising. The Gold users will have unlimited, ad-supported Last.fm access. So they can use it 24 hours a day if they like. Then there will also be a premium offering, which will be on a subscription basis from Last.fm that will be commercial free and also have more sophisticated features. Things like Loved Tracks will be part of that offering as well.
Question: The premium subscription is something you would need to purchase through Last.fm, not through Xbox?
You will be able to access it through Xbox. You will need to subscribe directly through Last.fm for that. They have different business models in different markets, but they do have superscription services.
the full interview is located here.