The first major advertiser to go live with the product, named Smart Ads by Last.fm, is Motorola, promoting its new Moto E8 handset. When Last.fm users play music, the Moto handset shown in the ad creative displays the artist and track of the song being played.
The launch follows Last.fm’s announcement in July that it planned to venture into fresh advertising formats.
Miles Lewis, service vice-president at Last.fm, said that in developing the new platform Last.fm, which was acquired by CBS Corporation for $280m in May 2007, was aiming for one-to-one communication with users to build value for advertisers.
He said: "Creative engagement allows the advertiser to show that they are in tune with what users are listening to."
Founded in 2002, Last.fm offers tracks for free, on-demand and via streaming, and its partners include Universal, EMI, Sony BMG, CD Baby and more than 150,000 independent artists and labels.
As well as being able to access tracks for free, music fans can also share their music preferences by linking their media player to the Last.fm database, meaning it can intelligently recommend music and other members based on their musical tastes.
In June, the company announced it was partnering with other social networks to offer Last.fm In A Box, allowing users to install a Last.fm widget to websites such as MySpace.com, and stream music via those sites.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk