This is one more chapter in the Last.FM / CBS integration story. Last.FM was an early mover in the streaming music and had tens of millions of users when Spotify was just a twinkle inn Daniel Ek’s eye. Many – myself included – were surprised by the $280 million that CBS paid just under three years ago to acquire Last.FM. Since then Last.FM’s fortunes have been a mixed bag. Though user numbers are at an all time high, Last.FM has struggled to find its new identity within CBS and its paymasters recently took the decision to turn off free-streaming in outside of the major territories due to the inability to generate sufficient advertising revenue.
CBS are doing what you would expect a major media organization to do with an expensive start-up acquisition: they are trying to make it contribute to the bottom line. These objectives often do not align closely with the innovative vision that drive start-ups to scale and market profile, though usually not to profitability.
Federal CIO Vivek Kundra’s recent presentation to the Brookings Institution outlined how the US administration is moving to a “Cloud-first” approach to consolidating the US government technology infrastructure. Since the US government is the largest buyer of information technology in the world, spending over $76 billion supporting over 10,000 systems, we can be sure that a Cloud-first policy will have a major impact on technology vendors and the services they offer - not only to the US government but to all IT buyers.