Apple acquires digital music startup Lala

Tools

Apple confirmed its acquisition of online music retailer Lala.com, but declined to disclose additional information on the deal, including financial terms. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not comment on our purchase or plans," said Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling. The Lala service enables consumers to access more than 8 million fully licensed songs for free, without ads or subscriptions--its streaming media model instead limits users to one listen for each song or album. Lala also sells unlimited plays of songs for 10 cents, or DRM-free MP3 downloads for 89 cents each--in addition, its Lala's Music Mover matches the songs on users' computers to its catalog, adding tracks and playlists to Lala collections for free.

According to the Associated Press, a forthcoming Lala application optimized for Apple's iPhone would enable users to stream songs from a digital locker to their smartphone for 10 cents each. By comparison, Apple's iTunes digital storefront sells songs starting at 69 cents and increasing to $1.29 for hit singles and selected classics. Citing a source with knowledge of the deal, The New York Times reports Apple purchased Lala to acquire its engineering staff and their collective experience with cloud-based music services, adding that negotiations originated after Lala executives concluded their prospects for turning a profit in the short term were fading.

For more on the Apple/Lala deal:
- read this Associated Press article

Related articles:
iTunes
9 features ringtones, improved syncing
iTunes generating 25 percent of all U.S. music sales

Filed Under