Rumors abound in London that Viacom is looking to purchase LastFM (via Dealbreaker). From a joy-of-use perspective, LastFM is the best thing to hit my browser since Kozmo.com, so I am happy for them, especially since the price tag is rumored to be $450m. The latest subscriber numbers I’d read on LastFM were around 15m, and I think $30/user is nicely representative of the value LastFM delivers to its users.
Now what this means given Viacom is old media, I am not sure. LastFM has generally played by the rules, and they have navigated the treacherous waters of digital music astutely. So, I don’t expect Viacom to have large strategy changes in mind.
I wonder if this is primarily a grab at large new media properties following the MySpace and Facebook episodes, or Viacom has developed a strategy on how it’ll play at the edge. As far as old media goes, Viacom’s MTV has always been closer to the edge, but outside of that, there’s really no evidence that Viacom’s moving in a progressive path.