Last.fm wants bands to use Web tools

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Last.fm, the social music site sold to CBS in May for $240m, is launching a PR campaign in the guise of an initiative to get unsigned and independent bands using online tools to build their careers.

The campaign title and dedicated blog – nowformaband.last.fm – is inspired by punk fanzine Sideburns’ call to action in 1976 – “here’s three chords, now form a band.” Last.fm’s spin on this is “here’s three websites, now form a band.”

Last.fm‘s aim is to show bands how to produce, promote and distribute music “without spending a load of money, and without lots of other people getting involved.” It sounds characteristically anti ‘big music industry’.

The campaign is part of Last.fm’s current activity focused around its ‘Hype’ chart, which has recently begun to be published in UK record industry magazine Music Week. Last.fm are starting to promote bands from the Hype chart live, most recently at their sell-out fundraising event at the Spitz venue in London.

Martin Stiksel, Last.fm co-founder, said: “There’s so much great music out there that doesn’t get a chance to find an audience and we want that to change. It’s possible now because we’re in the middle of a revolution in terms of how music is made and distributed and promoted. There’s a lot of talk about all these things in the media but not much action in the real world – so we’re going to show new bands how.”

Stiksel and co-founder Felix Miller last night appeared at a packed Second Chance Tuesday event (pictured below) in London talking about their journey towards a $240m sale and their continuing vision for Last.fm. The discussion was chaired by the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones, and although not revealing a great deal of new information, was fascinating and fun, and live-blogged by the Guardian. [Interest declared: TechCrunch UK is a media partner for Second Chance Tuesday].

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