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Last.fm Posts Further Loss as Revenues Slide
Last.fm recorded a loss of £2.1 million ($3.4 million) in 2013, as revenues slumped by more than 20 percent year-on-year from £6.4 million ($10.3 million) to £4.9 million ($7.9 million). In line with the fall in sales, staff numbers at the CBS-owned, London-based company fell from 61 to 35 over the same period, with the majority of staff redundancies coming from technical roles.
According to the company's latest set of financial results, published by Companies House, advertising revenues generated by the music service last year fell to £3.5 million ($5.7 million), down from £4.3 million ($7.0 million) in 2012. Subscription revenues also dropped to £1.1 million ($1.8 million) in 2013, down from £1.6 million ($2.6 million) in 2012.
A global breakdown of revenues brought little extra cause for celebration. U.S. turnover fell to £2.8 million ($4.5 million) from £3.6 million ($5.8 million) in 2012. U.K. revenues also slumped year-on-year, to £693,000 ($1.1 million), down from £1.3 million ($2.1 million). Income from rest of the world totaled £288,000 ($465,000), down from £725,000 ($1.2 million).
The company can, however, take heart from its improving performance in Europe. Revenues from countries within the EU rose to £1.1 million ($1.8 million), up from £740,000 ($1.3 million) the previous year.
Concurrent with the company's fall in total revenues, cost of sales almost halved to £2.8 million ($4.5 million), down from £5 million ($8.1 million) the previous year. Cuts were also made in administrative expenses, which fell from £5.3 million ($8.6 million) in 2012, to £4.3 million ($7.0 million) in 2013. As of December 31, 2013, Last.fm's net liabilities totaled £37.5 million ($60.7 million).
While Last.fm's parent company, CBS Corporation, will undoubtedly be concerned at the company's £2.1 million annual loss and slump in revenues, the 2013 figures still represent an improvement on the previous year's financial statement when the company posted a loss of £3.9 million ($6.3 million).
The past 12 months have also seen Last.fm make significant changes to its core music offering, which the company directors believe will help trim expenditure and secure its future. In April this year, the service axed its subscription radio streaming service and has since focused on collaborating with third party streaming services such as Spotify and Vevo.
"As Last.fm moves away from streaming music content itself and instead collaborates with third party streaming services, Last.fm will benefit from significant cost savings by no longer streaming which significantly outweigh the associated loss of revenue," said the company directors in its financial report.