Coldplay proves that free music is… popular

Last.FM has got in touch to say that since the new Coldplay single ‘Violet Hill’ was released for free on Coldplay’s website this morning, Last.FM has been tracking the number of times it’s been listened to. And it’s a lot: 10,000 times in the 5 hours since the track was released. That’s 1 play every 2 seconds. Apparently the last time a track was listened to this intensively on Last.fFM was ‘15 Step’ from Radiohead’s free In Rainbows album, which clocked up close to 22,000 listens in 12 hours. Coldplay has had about 51 million listens on the site and their entire back catalogue of music is available for free-on-demand streaming. I’m not sure how that would compare, say, to a radio station playing a track on high rotation during a typical day of release. But then Last.FM’s service can go on forever, right down into the Long Tail, the radio station can’t.