Community music portal Last.fm has announced it's going to be launching a swanky video version of its popular Web 2.0 music service. The new music video portal will work in much the same way as the music side of the site, where streaming radio stations are dynamically created and tuned for you, based on your listening habits. The site aims to host every music video ever created.
This is a monumental goal, but with the right technology in place and the (pretty much guaranteed) input from its large community, the Last.fm effort has every chance of succeeding, and we sincerely hope it does. Our only concern is how much usage people will get from such a service. Do enough people sit at their computers watching an endless screening of music videos?
Oh, wait, what are those MTV and Kerrang! things again?
We don't want to seem negative, but one of the reasons MTV and similar stations have been so successful is that it's totally acceptable for it to just be on in the background while you've got some friends round. But the same setup doesn't really work on PCs, where video prevents you from doing other things (unlike audio). Can Last.fm justify its servers pumping out hours of streaming video bandwidth for people who aren't really paying attention to the video part for most of the time?
On the other hand, Last.fm's recommendation system has been hugely successful for audio, and a video system that works just as well could potentially be expanded to include other kinds of TV -- now that would be exciting. You like The West Wing, eh? Why not try Studio 60? Why, thank you Last.tv, that's a marvellous new show I would otherwise have been ignorant of.
The doorway for a Web 2.0 video channel is open and Last.fm is in the perfect position to say, "Y'see that doorway over there? That's SO ours!" -Nate Lanxon