Martin Stiksel, Felix Miller and Richard Jones, the three men who founded last.fm in East London in 2003, have today left the company.
Last.fm has been owned by American media conglomerate CBS since May 2007 after they bought it for £140million, netting the trio around £19million each at the time.
Rumours are bound to circulate that their departure has got something to do with the US blog TechCrunch’s recent posts, claiming that CBS had possibly handed over last.fm customer data to the RIAA without the site’s agreement.
It might also be worth noting that it is almost exactly two years since the trio agreed the deal with CBS. It might therefore be possible that there was a two year handover period in place. Details of the departure should be coming clearer in the coming days.
What is clear is that Stiksel, Miller and Jones’ idea has played a major role in the dramatically altered landscape of music distribution. With streaming music become more poplar and more commercially viable with services like Spotify, it is fair to conclude that these three developers will be remembered as pioneers of digital music.
Plus, they’ve all got millions of quid in the bank, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
(via Music Ally)