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This is still officially in rumor status at this point, but reportedly two independent sources told CNet that Apple is close to acquiring Lala, a streaming digital music service and storefront. The insiders say the deal is very close to being done, with terms already agreed upon and only pending a final sign-off.
One of Lala’s unique features is the ability to upload songs from your music collection to their company cloud, providing not only a convenient backup source but also access to your library from mobile devices. You can also buy streaming-only Web albums rather cheaply, another relatively unique offering in the crowded online music space. Assuming this deal becomes reality, signs point to Apple looking at providing some sort of streaming service to users, perhaps with a cloud storage component for music collections.
Plus, with the music subscription space heating up once again thanks to the recent MOG All-Access launch and (hopefully) impending Spotify U.S. launch, perhaps Apple is eying an additional music model to expand the reach of its iTunes business.
Although iTunes is currently the largest music store and a huge money-maker from digital download sales, the landscape of music online is certainly shifting — MySpace’s recent acquisitions of iLikeand imeem, along with Google’s deal to provide streaming music in search results, point to a shift in how users expect to access music on the Web.
It would make sense that Apple wants to get in on that trend. Some incorporation of streaming functionality courtesy of Lala’s technology would make sense given the current climate.
What do you think Apple will do with Lala if the acquisition goes through?