Apple Strikes Deal to Buy the Music Start-Up Lala
Posted on December 5, 2009 by eli courey
In the most recent sign that Apple is looking at alternative ways for people to store and play their digital music, the company has agreed to buy Lala, a four-year-old start-up based in Palo Alto, Calif., a person with knowledge of the deal said Friday.
Lala recently struck one agreement with Google to let searchers sample free music through its site, and another with Facebook to allow its users to give one another digital songs as gifts.
Lala, unlike Apple’s iTunes, lets users play the music they own from the Web — or in tech industry parlance, from the cloud. If Apple introduces its own cloud-based streaming music service, it would let people skip having to download music they buy or synchronize their music collection between their computers and mobile devices.
A person’s music library would always be available on the Web and accessible on a PC, smartphone or other Web-connected mobile device.
“I am sure Apple is watching streaming music, the traction of Pandora, of course, and other streaming applications on the iPhone,” said David Goldberg, head of SurveyMonkey and the former general manager of Yahoo Music. “There’s a legitimate question here: Why should people have to download music?”
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