London-based last.fm, an online music distributor featuring a "social networking service," will next week launch its service in Japan in cooperation with Tokyo-based Internet portal Excite Japan.

London-based last.fm, an online music distributor featuring a "social networking service," will next week launch its service in Japan in cooperation with Tokyo-based Internet portal Excite Japan.

Excite Japan will assist last.fm in designing and managing a Japanese version of its service, and will handle licensing and copyright-related matters.

Last.fm subscribers can download software that conveys information concerning their musical tastes, which the service then uses to select and distribute songs that match users' musical preferences. The service also enables users with similar musical tastes to interact with each other by sharing songs and sending text messages.