The new player is a "reinvention" of Last.fm's radio streaming that now allows users to personalize their listening stations into multi-genre ones, while also receiving a stream of media such as artist images and videos. It also opens up new opportunities for branding and sponsorship on the channel.
"We did reach out to music trade publications because the big push behind this was that it's the evolution of how to listen to music," said Katie Gunion, a publicist for several CBS Interactive properties, including Last.fm. "It's the next step in enriching the listening experience."
The company used Twitter to announce the changes to its users, as well as its company blog. The challenge with online music players is attracting new users, Gunion said, as many online music listeners are loyal to their favorite platform, including Last.fm users.
The new player, which launched May 6, has so far received positive feedback from users, she added. Outlets including Billboard, Wired, and Music Week covered Last.fm and its changes.
The expansion with Last.fm's new music player is part of an overall strategy within CBS Interactive to build up its online offerings. On May 5, the company announced a new CBS Interactive Music Group, which will now house Last.fm and CBS Radio's music Web sites and online audio streams.