UPDATED: Last.FM has a stellar reputation as a place where all music is created equal. Where music discovery is a wonderfully random event untainted by cash or influence. But Last.FM's love for indie music does not extend to its checkbook. The contract that most indie and D.I.Y. artists use demands that they waive their rights to royalties in exchange for airplay on the personalized net music streaming service.
“By uploading Licensed Material, You grant to Last.FM a non-exclusive, royalty-free license (including the right to sub-license for all purposes related to the Last.FM service (for example, embedding the Last.FM player on third party websites (such as personal blogs)"
After some public pressure, the Clear Channel radio network has just drop a similar clause from its indie artist contract . But Last.FM which was recently bought by CBS continues the practice.
"I'm a huge fan of Last.fm and what they’ve done (or could do) for indie labels, bands and music fans," says IndieHQ blogger and Blackout label owner Bill Wilson. "However, it seems that their new media conglomerate sugar daddies are having an influence on their policies already. Wilson originally forgave the no royalties policy but now says, "Last.fm isn’t a start-up anymore, it’s part of the global media biz."