The decision to close music.download.com was made last year, even before the CBS venture, which is why that portion of download.com was not updated with the rest of Cnet and all links to it were removed. The original intent was to merge the music.download.com content, potentially with Cnet's MP3.com, but unfortunately it looks like the merger idea was dropped when CBS's Last.fm was selected as the replacement instead.
Today I received this email. It's true ?
Greetings CNET Download Music artists,
We have some important news to share, and we wanted to make sure you heard it from us first. On Wednesday, March 11, 2009, we are permanently closing CNET Download Music and redirecting all URLs and page traffic to similar pages on our sister site Last.fm.
PLEASE NOTE: We will not be able to save or transfer any content from CNET Download Music artist profile pages to Last.fm. Therefore, we recommend that you sign up as a Last.fm artist and transfer any content from your CNET Download Music artist page prior to March 11.
We're extremely proud to introduce you--and the CNET Download Music community as a whole--to Last.fm, our sister site at CBS Interactive. Like CNET Download Music, Last.fm shares the spirit of independence and discovery that we find so vital to our online music experience and is thoroughly focused on putting you--the users and artists--right out front.
Launched in 2002, Last.fm is a music discovery site without borders, a destination where listeners, be they casual or fanatic, can come to both hear old favorites and get turned on to new ones--to listen, learn, and share with friends. Last.fm is an immersive environment, a music space that draws you in and invites exploration. We feel that makes it a perfect match for the artists and users of CNET Download Music.
As an artist, you're invited and encouraged to upload your music onto Last.fm. You can sign up as either an artist or a label; either way, as with CNET Download Music, the cost is free and the process is simple.
In addition to joining a positive, immersive music community, there are key benefits to posting your music on Last.fm, including:
The Artist Royalty Program, which allows even unsigned artists to get paid when users stream your music.
The ability to upload your entire discography.
The ability to add videos, albums, and even event information to your artist profile.
Detailed stats on who is listening and when.
A massive community of more than 20 million active music fans.
Easy access to immediately update and modify your profile page.
The Last.fm FAQ can provide greater details on the benefits of joining the Last.fm artist community and walk you through the process.
You can sign up on Last.fm at any time. Once your new profile is in place, we also suggest that you modify any URLs you may have on other sites--personal blogs or Web sites, and artist or label pages--to point instead to your new profile page on Last.fm. The sooner you make these changes, the less confusion for your friends, colleagues, and fans!
Again, we want to thank you for participating as a member of the CNET Download Music artist community. We've been thrilled to be able to give independent artists a space to post music and share it with each other and the community at large. And we feel proud that, since launching in 2004, the site retained its focus on adventurous, independent music and the spirit of discovery. Those of us working behind the scenes are, after all, just like you: extremely passionate about music, always eager to discover new favorites and to share them with others.
With that in mind, we hope you will join us as we continue to grow Last.fm into the most exciting, dynamic, and powerful music destination on the Web.
Thanks very much,
The CNET Download Music Team