Last.fm, one of our favorite music recommendation and discovery services, announced a partnership with LyricFind today, which will bring lyrics for about 800,000 songs from major and independent labels to Last.fm. This will make Last.fm the only music recommendation service that features lyrics on its site. Last.fm users will now also be able to search lyrics on Last.fm, which is especially helpful if you are looking for a particular song, but cannot remember the actual title.
If available, Last.fm will now show excerpts from a song's lyrics on the relevant Last.fm track page and users can then click through to see the complete lyrics. However, Last.fm has missed an opportunity here, as you can't actually look at the lyrics and play a song at the same time, unless you open up a new tab for the lyrics page.
Sponsored Lyrics Pages?
Interestingly, Last.fm also announced that it will allow sponsors to advertise on these lyrics pages, including the ability to skin the entire page. We cannot help but wonder if this is a prelude to similar advertising options on other parts of Last.fm's site.
Even though 800,000 is a large number, this still leaves the majority of Last.fm's catalog without lyrics. The music industry has always been highly protective about lyrics and has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with many of the independent (and often user generated) lyrics sites.
LyricFind, too, started as a rogue lyrics site in 2000, but has licensed content from over 1,700 music publishers since then, including EMI, Sony, and Universal BMG.
Overall, adding lyrics to song pages is a smart move by Last.fm, as it turns Last.fm into even more of a one-stop music experience and also gives the service yet another feature that sets it apart from other music recommendation and discovery sites.