Last.fm, the social music service that CBS Interactive acquired last year, is venturing into original content for the first time with a new video series called Last.fm Presents.
The series consists of interviews with popular and rising bands and artists; among the first artists featured are techno legend Moby, rising alternative-pop singer Santogold, and popular indie band Spoon. Last.fm has also made a selection of live concert footage available on its site to complement the interviews.
Members can sign on to Last.fm Presents as they would with any other group on the social network. The videos will also be syndicated across the "CBS Audience Network" of content partners.
A number of social-networking sites have ventured successfully and semi-successfully into pop-culture content: News Corp.'s MySpace.com, which rose to fame as a promotional tool for independent artists, has launched a number of video shows, entertainment programming, and a live concert series as well as an ad-supported music service that will likely compete directly with the one Last.fm announced earlier this year.
Several smaller social-media sites also have begun to expand into original content with the aim of seizing the digital age's equivalent of the pop-culture niche that was occupied by MTV before the rise of the Web. Streaming media site Imeem has started to syndicate video content from partner companies, and Buzznet has acquired a handful of influential music blogs to beef up its editorial offerings.
Last.fm, still headquartered in London, continues to expand--one might say it's moving into MySpace territory. It promoted a number of concerts in the U.K. last year and plans to back new events in the U.S. and Europe soon. Earlier this week, CBS announced that Last.fm would be powering AOL Radio's online stations in Europe.