Based on what other executives like you are buying, Mr. Moonves, we think you’d enjoy Last.fm

In the latest example of an old-line media company shelling out for some Web 2.0 mojo, CBS today announced acquisition of British social music site Last.fm for $280 million plus incentives. Last.fm — which claims more than 15 million users monthly, including 4 million in the States — lets music fans connect with people who share their tastes, build custom radio stations and watch videos, but it’s the underlying functionality that CBS really wants — the expertise in community building and social recommendation, and a connection to the young audience that has wandered away from traditional broadcasting.

“Last.fm is one of the most well established, fastest growing online community networks out there,” said CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. “Their demographics also play perfectly to CBS’s goal to attract younger viewers and listeners across our businesses.” Added Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, “”We looked at a lot of companies to provide a base for CBS’s investment in online reach, and found Last.fm to be poised at an inflection point — balancing fast growth, a sticky community and the opportunity for monetization that does not distract the user.”

The purchase of a grassroots social site by a large media corporation might raise the specter among Last.fm fans of the heavy-handed management that News Corp. brought to MySpace, but the founders are reassuring, saying Last.fm will remain its own brand and keep its current management and London location. “As you can imagine, we have been approached numerous times in the past few years from all the usual suspects regarding acquisitions and so on,” writes Richard Jones on the company blog. “CBS are one of the few companies who needed no explanation of what we are doing, and we were impressed at how progressive their plans are.”

 
 

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  • The good thing is, CBS doesn’t have ANYTHING like this… so there won’t be channel conflict. Still, I think it could have used more cowbell.

  • STUART

    This is the guy [Moonves] and CBS is his corp–that ditched Imus, one of the last free thinkers on the free tube.

    CBS “progressive”? Imus’ infamous shot was, in fact, a play. He was satirically ‘playing back’ what some Black men say about Black women not because he agrees with them, but precisely the opposite. CBS and Les caved.

    CBS also showed its smarts by hiring Curic. Talented person where she was, but a no-fit for the evening news.

  • Marco

    Mooves is an old skool ass. Do not give him visionary cred for this move. Methinks this is actually Viacom swooping in to snatch them up, but disguised behind CBS. One wonders how long before Viacom connects the Last.FM and MTV dots, and what the outcome will be.

 
 
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