7 December 2009
Apple Acquires Music Service Lala
According to an article by Gabriel Madway, Apple has purchased a small company that downloads songs more quickly from the Web. The company, Lala.com uses song-streaming, and the application could change the way we purchase music to play on iPhones and other portable music devices. Smart move for apple but this could be bad news for Lala users. It’s unlikely that the innovative deals negotiated by Lala will survive through the acquisition. For over a year, Lala users have been purchasing the rights to stream their music an unlimited number of times for ten cents per song. If the deals with the music labels go up, Lala may lose the right to stream those songs. In other words, all the money users have been spending on web songs may go down the drain. If the deals are nullified, hopefully Apple will renegotiate them to at least cover existing purchases until it releases its own streaming music service. Stone writes that Apple is interested in Lala because of its engineering talent and technology, and that it was Lala that initiated the discussions. From the Times:
One person with knowledge of the deal, but who was not authorized to discuss it, said that the negotiations originated when Lala executives concluded that their prospects for turning a profit in the short term were dim and initiated discussions with Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president in charge of iTunes. I’m not happy about this. I love Lala and the iPhone app is the best application
available for the iPhone. I love Apple and their products, but I see bad things on the horizon for Lala users and the end of a very innovative service. My prediction for Lala’s future: Is that they’re going to use the IP, content deals, the backend talent, and then scuttle the company. If they keep the on demand streaming option, this is how it will work: you have everywhere access to your iTunes...