Pandora Radio may be the pioneer in the online music recommender field, however it is not necessarily the king of the hill. The Last.fm is a serious contender for the top dog in the online music streaming industry. Pandora may have more total users than the Last.fm (Pandora has a total of 48 million users compared to Last.fm’s 40 million), however Pandora is only available in the U.S.
This gives the Last.fm (based in the U.K.) a major advantage overseas in the target markets they can pursue. The Last.fm also has a much more intuitive and thorough music recommender machine that allows for much more accurate recommendations based on several different key criteria.
The Last.fm uses a audioscrobbler recommender system that constructs a playlist for its users based on songs they listen to on the Last.fm, songs they have stored on their computer or any portable device they have synced up to their computer.
The Last.fm also recently started streaming songs off third-party music streaming sites such as MOG, Spotify and the Hype Machine allowing users to sync their accounts from these sites into their Last.fm profile.
User’s have the ability to add friends, search for musical “neighbors” who share the same musical tastes, create groups and events, as well as integrate their music into their Myspace accounts. In addition to these social media abilities, the Last.fm allows for users to create their own artist pages where they can upload their own music for others to listen to. The Last.fm also features charts that display which artists and songs are being most played on the site.
With all of these features integrated across several different social media platforms, the Last.fm is an ideal tool for discovering new music while also keeping an online playlist of the songs you love that you can access anywhere you have the internet and a computer at your disposal.