Last.fm's charts to be published on paper. Why?

Hidden beneath today's big news that 2 also-ran online music services are teaming up in an effort (URGE and Rhapsody, see here, yawn) is the news that Last.fm will soon begin publishing UK and US charts in dead-tree form for music industry publication Music Week ($690/year subscription).

The same exact charts that are already available on Last.fm for free. Really.
The first charts will appear in trade magazine Music Week, which relaunches this week.

Charts will appear both in print and on the Music Week website, and Last.fm plans to publish similar charts in the US.

A spokesman for Last.fm said the "hype chart", which is currently picking up artists such as Kate Nash and Biffy Clyro, is "the most important chart for the industry because it provides a taste of what we'll be listening to a few weeks ahead".

The same Last.fm data picked up the popularity of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy before it hit the mainstream charts last year.
I don't doubt the usefulness of the charts, especially for the radio programmer / music supervisor types that might very well subscribe to Music Week. And I'd probably be sickened to learn just how many of them aren't already aware of Last.fm. But this just leaves me a little bit uneasy.

Obviously it's a no-brainer for Last.fm if someone is offering them money to reprint their property, which I sincerely hope is how this deal came about. If this was Last.fm's idea, then the old-school new owners might already be steering a wonderful ship in the wrong DUHrection.

[The Guardian]

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