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Apple Buys Lala, What’s Next?

by Travis Harvey | December 5, 2009December 5, 2009 1:05 am PDT

applebuyslalaIt was only yesterday when rumors began to surface that Apple was in negotiations to acquire Lala. Lala is a music streaming service that allows users to choose between purchasing the actual digital songs, or what Lala calls the ‘web song’ which are unlimited streams of a song for about 1/10th the cost of its purchase price. According to sources of AllThingsD, the deal has closed.  It’s still unknown how Apple plans to use their newly acquired assets.

Apple may consider allowing users to stream their libraries to mobile devices like the iPhone and iPod Touch.  Back in August, Apple submitted a patent that, instead of syncing full libraries, would store very small portions of media data to essentially verify the whole item to stream to the device.  The acquisition grants Apple access to Lala’s streaming technology and developer staff with massive cloud-computing experience.  There’s been no word of what’s going to happen to the Lala iPhone app currently pending app store approval.

Apple’s seemingly out of nowhere acquisition could be a preemptive strike to prevent competitors from snatching up Lala’s business model and implementing similar technologies.  Perhaps Apple is looking to introduce a streaming subscription service before the likes of Spotify arrive in the U.S.  Apple’s been backing the push to the cloud, so maybe Lala is the answer to the future of iTunes.

What do you think of Apple’s decision to swipe up Lala?  What do you see as the future for iTunes?  We’re as curious as you, so weigh in with your perspective.

[Via AllThingsD]


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