The UK tech scene is abuzz as CBS has acquired the London-based music site Last.fm for $280 million. Last.fm is a social networking site for music that connects users with similar music tastes and makes news suggestions for its users. The company’s founders have confirmed that they are staying on board and the company will remain in London. Last.fm co-founder Richard Jones said, “As you can imagine, we have been approached numerous times in the past few years from all the usual suspects regarding acquisitions and so on; CBS are one of the few companies who needed no explanation of what we are doing, and we were impressed at how progressive their plans are.”
More important than today’s acquisition news is the hint that Jones offers at CBS Interactive’s “plans.” Just recently CBS acquired the daily video podcast Wallstrip in one of the biggest video blog content deals we’ve see to date. The aggressive position CBS is taking towards the Internet stands in stark contrast to the network’s history as the “Tiffany Network” geared towards older, more conservative tastes. As of this writing, finding Wallstip on the CBS News website is difficult, but if you look way down on the bottom of the page you’ll find a tiny link. How today’s social media acquisition fits into CBS Interactive President Quincy Smith’s (pictured right) overall plan is a mystery, but what is clear is that Smith’s marching orders involve ramping up the CBS online cool factor—fast. So far, so good.